Born on the Fourth of July (1989) Review
The biography of Ron Kovic. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for.
Ron Kovic was a very well-loved and thought of young man, in High School with the world at his feet, in the wrestling team and enjoying his time with his friends. When the Marine’s give a speech in his high school he is very patriotic and wants to fight for his country which he loves more than anything. This will see him head straight over to Vietnam. The things which happen in the war would remain with him forever, playing back on his mind about how they killed innocent women and children and how he accidentally shot one of his fellow marines in a crossfire incident.
We see how a man must deal and adjust to never being able to walk again, after an incredibly active life after the effects of war deny him the chance to ever walk again. I really did find it heartbreaking watching him trying to force himself to be able to walk again with the crutches and rushing around. He was in denial and did not want to accept that he would never walk again, he wanted his life to be back to normal and that was never going to actually happen.
The next heart breaking time comes as he heads back home to the States and his parents who don’t seem to be able to deal with how he now is, especially when he turns to drink very quickly on his return. His mother always pushed him to go further when he was a child and growing up as we are shown these scenes throughout the film. This leads Ron to head to Mexico to be with other men left paralysed by the war.
I have to be honest and say that I hadn’t actually heard very much about this film other than Tom Cruise putting in and incredible performance. This I am pleased to say is true, possibly his best ever performance, I will go as far as saying that. But I also must add that I actually do like Tom Cruise and think he is a brilliant actor (who often doesn’t get enough credit). The range of emotions he shows in this role really is just incredible, you believe his struggle and see him as Ron Kovic and not just Tom Cruise in a film. He became the character and takes us on his difficult journey.
Thanks to Netflix UK I am pleased to say that I have now seen this film and can add it to my “seen” list. I think it’s one of those films were you don’t need to see it more than once for it still to have an incredible effect. If you haven’t seen Born on the Fourth of July, I really would recommend it! Watch Tom Cruise’s incredible performance and I am sure it will bring tears to your eyes many different times!