Vietnam veteran Oliver Stone's second war film of 1986 (after the less successful but critically acclaimed Salvador) is a hard-hitting, ostensibly realistic account of war in general and the Vietnam War in particular. Stone is out to demonstrate, through his first-hand knowledge, the horrors and chaos experienced by the young American soldiers in Vietnam, and he admittedly succeeds in just that. The skirmishes show the lack of control, often plan, and sometimes sanity these soldiers have while trying to fight an arguably meaningless war, and at its best these scenes really get to you – as Stone hammers his message through. In contrast, the film is also inherently showy, with overplayed performances from young and inexperienced actors who try a little too hard, and with a director who despite the purported realism of his story still makes a film that isn't that far from Rambo territory. Perhaps it was exactly comparisons like this that made people and the Academy sing Platoon's praises so loudly back in 1986, but seen today it's hard not to view it as a product of its time rather than as an account from the Vietnam War itself.