First-Time Watch Review – Good Morning Vietnam

Posted on 3 November 2020
By Dana Andersen
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Is there anyone on earth that isn’t a Robin Williams fan?

With a career so prolific, its natural to take some time getting round to watching all his movies, but now that Good Morning Vietnam is over thirty years old, does it still hold up for a first time watcher?

Williams plays Adrian Cronauer, the new DJ for Armed Forces Radio, who does everything right for the listeners, and everything wrong in the eyes of his higher ups.

The audience is weaved through many twists and turns, and for first time watchers its quite a shock.

While marketed, and spoken about, as though its a simple comedy, there are some really dark moments in which the reality of war and military dangers become very clear, and saddening.

Friendships and rivalries, both between the military and Vietnamese, and those within military circles, are both explored in a way that hints at humour, while maintaining realism that helps really set the area and time the movie is set within.

A romance is peppered in, giving Williams a chance to shine with slightly awkward, yet hilarious attempts to woo the girl, only to be cut off by her brother, or her entire family.

Most importantly though, Williams character is fully fleshed out in a way rarely seen in comedies today. He wants to make people laugh, and play good music, but he also wants to release information thats restricted from the public, showing his character to be hugely ethical and moralistic.

For a first time watcher, Good Morning Vietnam holds a very unexpected heaviness, though it is routinely lightened with Williams perfectly timed, flawlessly executed jokes, and although its happy ending allows the audience to leave their viewing experience in a good mood, its certainly a movie that remains with you in some way.

It’s clearly aged, but that doesn’t detract from it being a heartfelt comedy, with a spiked edge that keeps viewers consumed until the very last moment.

Whether being watched for the very first time, or the hundredth, Good Morning Vietnam is always worth the watch.