"Dance! You motherfuckers! Dance!"
Description: Charlie Sheen as Pvt. Chris Taylor fires rifle rounds at the feet of terrified villagers in the Vietnam War motion picture Platoon (1986).
Chris Taylor is the son of wealthy parents who decided to drop out of college and volunteer to fight in the Vietnam War during the 1960s. He is assigned to Bravo Company, 25th Infantry division near the Cambodian border.
|King:||Hey, Taylor. How in the fuck you get here anyway? Why, you look educated.|
|Chris Taylor:||I volunteered for it.|
|King:||You did what?|
|Chris Taylor:||I volunteered. I dropped out of college, and told them I wanted the infantry, combat, and Vietnam.|
|Crawford:||You volunteered for this shit, man?|
|Chris Taylor:||You believe that?|
|King:||You's a crazy fucker, giving up college.|
|Chris Taylor:||It didn't make much sense. I wasn't learning anything. I figured why should just the poor kids go off to war and the rich kids always get away with it?|
|King:||Oh, I see. What we got here is a crusader.|
|Crawford:||Sounds like it.|
|King:||Shit. You gotta be rich in the first place to think like that. Everybody know the poor are always being fucked over by the rich. Always have, always will.|
Throughout the film, the thoughts of Chris Taylor are heard via voiceovers that chronicle his journey from light into darkness.
"Well, here I am, anonymous, all right. With guys nobody really cares about. They come from the end of the line, most of them, small towns you never heard of: Pulaski, Tennessee; Brandon, Mississippi; Pork Bend, Utah; Wampum, Pennsylvania. Two years' high school's about it. Maybe if they're lucky, a job waiting for them back in a factory. But most of 'em got nothing. They're poor. They're the unwanted. Yet they're fighting for our society and our freedom. It's weird, isn't it? They're the bottom of the barrel, and they know it. Maybe that's why they call themselves grunts, 'cause a grunt can take it, can take anything. They're the best I've ever seen, Grandma. The heart and soul." - Pvt. Taylor
Among his officers, Chris sees two camps. Sgt. Elias (Willem DaFoe), a pleasant, easy-going fellow - a good guy; and Sgt. Barnes (Tom Berenger), a violent, scarred fellow - a bad guy.
As the new recruits arrive in Southeast Asia, Pvt. Gardner (Chris Pederson) sees a bunch of body bags, and says, "Oh, man. Is that what I think it is?" Sgt. Barnes gruffly shouts, "All right, you cheese-dicks, welcome to the Nam. Follow me!"
Later, when Sgt. Barnes gets pissed at the sight of more dead bodies, and he rebukes his troops:
“You all take a good look at this lump of shit. Remember what it looks like. You fuck up in a firefight and I goddamned guarantee you a trip out of the bush—in a body bag! Out here, assholes, you keep the shit wired tight at all times. And that goes for you, shit-for-brains. You don’t sleep on no fucking ambush. And the next son of a bitch I catch coppin’ Z’s in the bush, I personally am gonna take an interest in seeing them suffer. I shit you not. Doc, tag ‘em and bag ‘em.”
When Sgt. Barnes and one of his men come upon slain Vietnamese, he quips, “What’s the matter boy? He ain’t gonna bite you. That’s a good gook; good and dead.”
"Day by day, I struggle to maintain not only my strength but my sanity. It's all a blur. I have no energy to write. I don't know what's right and what's wrong anymore. The morale of the men is low. A civil war in the platoon. Half the men with Elias, half with Barnes. There's a lot of suspicion and hate. I can't believe we're fighting each other when we should be fighting them." - Pvt. Chris Taylor
Within a short time, Taylor and his fellow soldiers experience drug use, dismemberment by explosions, death by friendly fire, hiding under dead soldiers to survive, an officer (Barnes) putting a gun to the head of a small child to elicit information from villagers, the burning of a village, and the molestation of innocent girls by American troops.
While interrogating a couple of frightened Vietnamese peasants inside of a shack, who were hiding in a hole, Pvt. Taylor shoves a man as Pvt. Bunny (Kevin Dillon) shouts, "Do 'em, Man. Do em!" Caught up in the madness, Taylor shouts, "What are you smiling at? You want something to smile about? You want something to smile at?" Then Chris terrorizes the man and woman by firing multiple rounds of gunfire at their feet. "Dance, you motherfuckers Dance!" he cries repeatedly in a maniacal tone. After dozens of rounds hit the dirt, Chris regains control of himself, but deep inside he knows that what he has done was wrong.
Pvt. Bunny is still filled with revenge for his fallen comrades, so he knocks the small man to the ground, pounds his head to a pulp with his rifle butt, and proclaims, "Holy shit, do you see that fucking head come apart, man. I've never seen brains like that before, man." Chris and his comrades are outwardly disgusted at Bunny's actions.
"Somebody once wrote: 'Hell is the impossibility of reason.' That's what this place feels like. Hell." - Pvt. Chris Taylor
Not content with the death of one person, Bunny who had already said, "Fucking Pussy, she's laughing at you," continues his rant. "I bet the old bitch runs the whole fucking show, man. She probably cut Manny's throat. She'd probably cut my balls off if she had the chance."
Seeing things escalating out of control, one soldier, shouts, "Bunny! If we leave now. Nobody saw a fucking thing." But Bunny declares, "Come on, man Let's do her. Let's do the whole fucking village."
As Chris leaves the village, he encounters members of Bravo company about to rape an Asian girl. Chris can't believe their barbarity and intervenes. Pvt. Tony Hoyt (Ivan Kane) asks, "What the fuck is your problem, Taylor? She's a fucking dink!" Angry, Taylor replies, "She's a fucking human being, man! Fuck you!"
" Excuses are like assholes, Taylor. Everybody's got one!" - Sgt. O'Neill
Upon hearing of illegal killings in the field, Captain Harris (Dale Dye) threatens court-martials for all involved. Afraid that Sgt. Elias would give testimony against him, Sgt. Barnes takes the opportunity to shoot Elias on their next patrol in the jungles. Elias survives the attack but dies soon after when he flees wounded from the jungle as he is chased by the North Vietnamese.
|Elias:||What happened today was just the beginning. We're gonna lose this war.|
|Chris:||Come on! You really think so? Us?|
|Elias:||We've been kicking other peoples asses for so long I figured it's time we got ours kicked.|
After Sgt. Barnes kills Elias, Chris suspects Barnes was responsible and plots to kill Barnes while talking to fellow soldiers. Chris suggests they "frag that fucker tonight," when a drunken Barnes overhears the conversation and challenges the six soldiers to kill him. Chris rushes at Barnes screaming, "You motherfucker!" but Barnes subdues Chris with his knife drawn. The others reason with Barnes to stop. He does, but slashes Taylor's left cheek as a souvenir of their encounter.
The next day, Chris and his company are sent back into the field and many of the company are killed. As Barnes tries to kill Chris, a blast from a napalm strike blow the two away. Several hours later Taylor awakes, picks up an automatic weapon and discovers Barnes crawling through the jungle. Barnes orders Taylor to "Get a medic. Go on, boy!" but instead, Chris fires three times at his commanding officer, killing him. Since no one witnessed the execution, Chris is rescued and sent home because of injuries sustained in the battle.
Flying away in a helicopter, Chris weeps as he surveys all of the death and destruction wrought by the war.
"I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves. And the enemy was in us. The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, the rest of my days as I'm sure Elias will be, fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called possession of my soul. There are times since, I've felt like the child born of those two fathers. But, be that as it may, those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life." - final words of Pvt. Taylor