TV: The Deer Hunter

7 08 2008

I forced myself to watch it again, the first time after 20 years. And I still don’t like it.

The worst thing about it? You guess it: the damn wedding. One could get rid of at least 2/3 of the sequence. If I wanted to see a russian wedding, I would look for a documentary. The time should be spent on building a storyline for the Vietnam part. Because there seems to be none. One has to guess all the time: what DeNiro character is doing in the village, is he wounded or feigning death just to get that evil NVA running alone trough the village and trowing grenades into a hide-out with women and children? Then suddenly, out of nowhere, DeNiro’s two buddies appear, so they can be capured by Vietcong all in one go. And if you didn’t catch a split-second glimpse of hardly visible, little black silhouettes approaching through wads of smoke, you could find yourself guessing if they were hijacked by an UFO. The rescue scene with the helicopter is one of the worst edited action scenes in a movie IMO. I still don’t know why Savage’s character got his both legs chopped off and cannot use his left arm. It’s all one big black plot hole.

The message of the story is very questionable too. One could see the Russian roulette as an allegory of war in general, but still, was it a nasty Vietcong that forced young Americans to play with their lives in the Asian jungle?

The acting is good. Sometimes. In between the actors moon around looking plain and simply bored. With some effort I do believe in Savage and Walken as young GIs. DeNiro is a believable Green Beret, but he looks like a lifer with at least 10 years of duty under his belt. Did I miss something again?

No, it is definitely not my kind of movie. Too distant. Poorly edited. No real character development. And definetely too much wedding.



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