Several of the best Vietnam War movies ever made were made during the 1980s: namely Platoon (1986) (the best one ever, IMO), and the dark and surrealistic Full Metal Jacket (1987).
Then there was Hamburger Hill, also made in 1987.
While Platoon and Full Metal Jacket are classics, Hamburger Hill is a Reagan-era movie about Vietnam that simply doesn’t age well. (I don’t know how good it was in 1987, all things considered. I saw it for the first time last night.)
For starters, this movie contains every possible cliche about the Vietnam War.
The Procol Harum song “A Whiter Shade of Pale”? Check!
Vietnamese prostitutes who promise to “love you long time”? Check!
Hackneyed and tortured portrayals of racial tensions in the ranks? Check!
The action, moreover, is uneven. And there is not a single scene in which actor Dylan McDermott doesn’t have perfectly arranged hair.
Hamburger Hill isn’t a horrible movie, but there are far better options in the Vietnam War movie genre, including the more recent We Were Soldiers (2002), starring Mel Gibson.