Apocalypse Now Redux

"Essential"

Apocalypse Now Redux Review


Just issued on a remastered DVD, Coppola's 1979 masterpiece gets the director's cut treatment in this Redux version, as 49 minutes of previously edited footage are reinserted to bring the film in line with the director's original vision.

And the result is stunning, making an astonishing film even more powerful ...

but changing it completely in the process.

The story, based on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, centres on Captain Willard (Sheen), a US Army intelligence officer with a mission to travel into Cambodia and terminate ("with extreme prejudice") the command of the renegade Colonel Kurtz (Brando). Along the way he bonds with the crew (Forrest, Bottoms, Fishburne and Hall) of the boat taking him up-river as they encounter a gung-ho surfing colonel (Duvall), a sexy French woman (Clement), a few Playboy Bunnies, a free-wheeling journalist (Hopper) and more war-time horrors than they could have imagined.

This has always been a magical, gruelling, brilliant movie, so it's surprising that Coppola has tampered with it in such significant ways. But he says this was his original intent - less a war movie and more a film about truth and restraint, which more closely echoes Conrad's novel. In this sense, the new edit is a triumph, because the film's numbing chaos is now much more finely focussed on these themes, even if the story itself is more rambling.

Diversions into two new scenes now break up the narrative; a second sequence involving the Bunnies sits nicely in the story, while an extended detour to a French plantation brings the plot to a haunting halt but sets up the final thematic cataclysm more sharply. Other insertions add a much-needed camaraderie among the boat crew, which makes their transformation into "hollow men" much more evocative. And unnerving political discussions about government and media misinformation create a clearer context; these were ahead of their time in 1979, but they're pop-culture today.

All of these changes have not altered the film's genius. It's still stunningly beautiful to look at, remarkably moving and horrific, and jammed with memorable characters in unforgettable situations. Coppola's direction is impeccable, capturing both the intimate detail, overarching spectacle and layered depth of meaning, often all in one shot. All without a single digital special effect! This is essential, must-see cinema. And this so-called "definitive" edit hits us even more squarely between the eyes.



Facts and Figures

Box Office Worldwide: $83.5M

Budget: $31.5M

Production compaines: Zoetrope Studios

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Producer: , Kim Aubry

Starring: as Captain Benjamin L. Willard, as Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, as Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore, as Tyrone 'Clean' Miller, as Lance B. Johnson, as Jay 'Chef' Hicks, as Chief Phillips, as Colonel Lucas, as Photojournalist, G. D. Spradlin as General Corman, Jerry Ziesmer as Jerry, Civilian, as Director (cameo), Tom Mason as Supply Sergeant, as Lieutenant Richard M. Colby, as Miss May

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Advertisement
Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.