Goooooooood Morning Vietnaaaaam! You have to yell it. I’ll wait. Well, Robin Williams’ breakout performance makes the transition to high def with a 25th anniversary edition. Not that there’s much new to celebrate the occasion.
1965, Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams) arrives in Saigon to work as a DJ for Armed Forces Radio. He’s picked up by Pvt. Garlick (Forest Whitaker) but when he arrives at his new job he rubs his superiors, Lt. Hauk (Bruno Kirby) and Sgt. Dickerson (J.T. Walsh), the wrong way. However, he is a hit with the audiences who eat up his comedic patter and Brigadier General Taylor (Noble Willingham) is also a fan so he stays on the air.
His love life is not as successful as he notices the pretty Trinh (Chintara Sukapatana) but keeps getting rebuffed, but he does start teaching an English class with hilarious results. However, the war keeps interfering with both Cronauer’s career and personal life.
Adrian Cronauer was a DJ in Vietnam and that might be the only part that is true of much of the film. The real life inspiration of the film has stated that if he did half of what is shown in the movie that he would still be in Leavenworth prison. Never think that Hollywood treatment equals biography, but we’re certainly entertained by Robin Williams’ performance.
The madcap funnyman certainly shines in the main role and even garnered an Oscar nod for his performance. What amuses me about that is that the character is certainly more Williams than Cronauer so Robin basically got the nod for playing himself.
I will admit that he does get to flex his dramatic chops, but the most memorable parts of the film are just him doing his rapid-fire comedy. He does have some great support in Whitaker, Kirby, and Walsh. It makes me sad that Kirby and Walsh have gone to the great stage in the sky.
Good Morning Vietnam is presented in a 1080p high definition transfer (1.85:1). Special features come from the earlier DVD release (therefore are in standard def) and include a 35 minute production diary, 13 minutes of raw Williams’ monologue, and 4 minutes of trailers. A bet a Williams’ commentary would’ve been a hoot, but alas no such luck.
Good Morning Vietnam is Williams’ show all the way. I just wish there had been more effort put into this edition since they fly the “anniversary” flag. It’s a good film with great performances and comedy, but the extras are recycled.
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