Highly conventional in form, this traces the brutally brief odyssey of a group of infantrymen from training to bodybags in Vietnam. Hamburger Hill, for which most of the attacking grunts die, proves as pointless as the objective in Paths of Glory, but Irvin and screenwriter James Carabatsos reserve their indignation for the unappreciative citizenry back home. It isn't quite the old ours-is-not-to-question-why encomium, however, since the troops are poor whites and uneducated blacks who bitch continually about protesting hippies, each other, and do-or-die largely unreconciled. Applied sociology is all over the dialogue, though the obscenity quota mercifully drops as battle begins. There are a couple of rocky moments, but the large cast of unknowns go through hell convincingly, and illustrate the randomness of mortality.
Cast and crew
Michael Patrick Boatman