1) cringe worthy ‘GET SOME’ lines,
2) everyone dies like they’re in a bad Western, [bullet hits, clutches wound, falls to knees]
3) a cartoonishly green, yet peppy Pvt. Murphy,
4) a distracting synthesizer soundtrack [which I was warned about],
5) a hilarious slow motion shot of a soldier yelling ‘PEEEEEE-WEEEEEE’,
6) the fact that the big, emotional monologue is delivered by Wings Hauser.
All that aside, here’s what bothered me the most about this movie:
I love R. Lee Ermey. I always thought that putting him in any movie improved it. It’s beyond me how they did a 50 page reshoot on ‘Jonah Hex’ and didn’t find a way of getting him in there. Casting him garners at least a ½ star boost in your reviews. However, R. Lee Ermey somehow is out of place in Firebase Gloria. Yes, I really did just say that. THE R. Lee Ermey is out of place in a movie about war.
The average age of an American soldier fighting in the Vietnam War was 22. The average age of an officer was 28. R. Lee Ermey was 45 years old when this movie was released. And I’m not talking about a Brad Pitt 45. He was more than twice the age of the average soldier! Imagine if you will, R. Lee Ermey was cast as Pvt. Joker instead of the drill sergeant in ‘Full Metal Jacket’. Doesn’t make sense does it? Now check this out…Firebase Gloria came out two years AFTER Full Metal. No matter how badass he was I was constantly asking why that old man was there.
I agree with KG that it’s interesting to see the VC’s side of this excursion. One thing it revealed to me, and I’m sure you didn’t know this either, was that some of the VC officers were actually Mexicans. It’s true! NVA Colonel Cao Van, portrayed by Robert Arevalo, was a major part of this movie. As was his full gaucho mustache.
Oh, and the Vietnamese boy he saves from the ‘evil Americans’ at the end? That actor’s name is Michael Cruz.