Apocalypse Now

Apocalypse Now - a review by Dave Fischer

I don't think any indvidual working in Hollywood today has done more to bring the classics of yesteryear to the viewers of today than Jim Carrey. Through his tireless devotion and endless efforts, his hauntingly reverent tributes tells us more about Jim Carrey: Classic Film Aficionado than they do about Jim Carrey: Director & Actor.

Mr. Carrey's remake of Apocalypse Now continues this tradition. He leaves the intent & ambiance of the film intact, while accentuating its highlights and reworking its flaws to make it accessable to a wide ranging contemporary audience.

The famous opening scene in a Saigon hotel room finds Mr. Carrey perfectly fit to his role of Captain Willard. A closeup shows him imitating the spinning overhead fan of his room with his face - scrunching his lips to one side, then up, then to the other side... it's classic Carrey, it exposes Captain Willard's precarious mental state, and it's falling-down-funny slapstick!

Finally Willard's preoccupation with his fan makes him so dizzy that he falls down. This queues the MPs to break in and drag him off to his meeting with "The Brass". Sobered up, cleaned up, and dressed up, Willard is highly apprehensive as he is led in, against his will, to this required audience. We soon find out why. "The Brass" are a trio of senile old men, dressed up in Napoleonic officer's uniforms, attempting to play tubas! The contrast between their uniforms, the setting in war-torn Vietnam, the horrific noises they produce, and repeated cuts to a closeup of Willard, showing his utter horror had the entire audience at the theater I was up laughing out loud!

Soon Willard's mission starts - he must follow the river up to the jungles of Cambodia to find "Klutz" and destroy his music school which has been turning the military's officers into such horrible hacks! First stop is the Surf Punk Battalion, where helicopters hover over the waves, providing Willard's crew with a soundtrack of "Flight of the Bumblebee" as they attempt to ride in pyramid formation, with Willard at the peak atop his crew's shoulders. The contortions of the incompetant surfers are amazing, all the more so because they manage to stay upright on their boards! The Vietcong who witness this are laughing too hard to shoot anyone, and eventually jump in for the Annette Funicello Beach Party sing-along.

The next scene finds our little troup half way up the river, relaxing in their boat. They're lazily cleaning their weapons, listening to the radio, when all of a sudden the song "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" comes on, and Willard jumps up to the roof of the boat, a crazy look in his eyes! What follows has to be the greatest dance number ever choreographed!

Willard hams it up as Gladys Knight, to his crew's Pips, as tribesmen hidden in the surrounding jungle throw bunches of grapes at them! This scene is so funny, so upbeat, and so fitting, it's hard to believe it wasn't in the original!

Finally Willard & crew approach Klutz's domain. Chellos dangle from the surrounding trees, and an army of jungle dwellers dressed in church robes welcomes them with a nicely arragned choral of "O Little Town of Bethlehem".

The climactic scene of Willard and his men mingling with Klutz and his followers around a giant bonfire as they roast hotdogs and sing campfire songs ends with Klutz seeing the error of his ways and deciding to accompany Willard back to Saigon.

Willard and Klutz embrace as their respective followers cheer and the credits roll to the beautifull words of "Is This The End" by superband Creed:

The stains in the sky
Are there to remind us of man and his fight
When two worlds collide
One steals the life like a theif in the night
So look to the sky
He hold the keys for your life and mine

So Is this the end for us my friend?
So Is this the end for us my friend?
So Is this the end for us my friend?

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