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"War is hell. This was worse..."

Lt. Knight, an officer out of West Point, is airlifted to a Vietnamese outpost. When Knight arrives, his platoon is filled with tough veterans, with Sgt. McNamara explaining that they don't need a by-the-book leader. Radio officer Pvt. Parker is the only platoon member who has no issue with Knight. During a patrol, Knight nearly dies from a trip mine, radioing for an evacuation while McNamara orders the platoon to move to a landing zone for extraction. A week later, Major Flynn asks Knight if he can retake command, to which Knight agrees. Knight is airlifted back without a greeting; no one expected his return. The men return his possessions to his office and Knight realizes he needs to a different approach to earn respect.

During another patrol, the platoon skirmishes with a heavy Vietcong force, where Parker is fatally injured struck by a mortar. McNamara arrives and pushes the Vietcong toward Sgt. Roach, killing the remaining Vietcong. A week later, Major Flynn gives Knight some replacements.

Come nightfall, Knight finds a Vietcong in his camp, kills him, and rouses the men. Although prepared, the platoon is hit hard. Several men die or are injured, but gunships drive off the straggling Vietcong. Knight loses confidence, but McNamara heartens him. Knight meets with Captain Killinski, who explains that the battalion his men fought can be finished. Knight explains a better plan, which Killinski agrees to.

The platoon moves to position, with McNamara scouting ahead. McNamara is badly injured and is airlifted. Killinski tells Knight that the battalion escaped and is attacking a village. The platoon arrives, killing the Vietcong only to be struck by mortars and shrapnel. The Vietcong's goal was the villagers and not the platoon.

Knight soon visits McNamara, explaining that they lost the village but fought off the Vietcong and that he now understands the meaning of war. The film ends with Knight greeting McNamara in a hug.

| 1987 | 1 hr 37 min | 5.4/10
Michael Dudikoff, Robert F. Lyons, Michael DeLorenzo, Jesse Dabson
Media Home Entertainment
Aaron Norris
Platoon Leader

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