review for Good Morning, Vietnam on AllMovie

Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
by Mike DiBella review

Humor and war often make strange bedfellows but sometimes humor can have a therapeutic effect for postwar sentiments of anger, frustration and loss, especially in the case of the bitterly divisive Vietnam conflict. In the tradition of Hogan's Heroes and M.A.S.H. came Barry Levinson's Good Morning Vietnam, a pithy blend of satirical comedy and tragedy. Robin Williams gives a career-best caliber performance as the charismatic disc jockey, Adrian Cronaeur. Backed by an eclectic cast inclunding Forest Whitaker, Bruno Kirby, Robert Wuhl and character actors extraordinaire Noble Willingham and the late J.T. Walsh, Williams spins a dazzling, if not headspinning comedic web. This film is an important and derisive look back on the catastrophic military and political debacle that was Vietnam. Williams' wildly improvisational performance warranted an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. His scathing but hilarious carryings-on at the expense of the U.S. military is tempered by some dramatic and touching interactions with Vietnamese natives. Williams is engaging, bitingly sarcastic and heartwarmingly human all at once. Although awkwardly sequenced at times, Levinson's picture was a stupendous critical and financial success.