Written by Luke Barnes
The true story of John ‘Chickie’ Donohue’s, here played by Zac Efron, efforts to support his friends fighting in Vietnam.
This film really wasn’t what I was expecting it to be, I thought based on the name and comedy work that Efron has put out that this film would be raunchy, dumb and more than a little gross out, but in actual fact it is actually quite emotionally engaging and complex. Whilst it is hard to call this film a comedy as it isn’t funny, it is a film with a surprisingly big heart.
I thought Efron was on great form here, this film gave him a number of ample opportunities to flex his dramatic muscles and he pulls this off nicely, conveying the horrors going on around him and the anguish he feels for all to see. In that vein I think this film really does show us the undercurrent of the Vietnam war and doesn’t hold back in its brutality.
Russell Crowe and Bill Murray make supporting turns here to varying degrees of success. Crowe is a very welcome presence and plays off of Efron well when on screen together whereas Murray is seemingly pigeonholed into the old timer who thinks things should go back to how they were in his day. Though it is always nice to see Murray pop up on screen, here he is very much not utilised.
Overall, a surprisingly sweet film.
Showing the horrors of the war
It wastes Bill Murray
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