“Born On The Fourth Of July” is the story of Ron Kovic, a Vietnam war veteran who eventually lead protests against the war. When he was a teenager he could not wait to sign up and fight for his country. He loved his country and wanted to prove his patriotism by defending it from communism.
He served two tours of duty in Vietnam. He experiences some traumatic events such as his platoon massacring a town of villagers as well as the accidental shooting of one of his fellow soldiers. The second tour ended with him being wounded which resulted in being paralyzed from the chest down. He finds himself in a disgusting hospital that is seriously under funded.
When he returns home he finds that the country is severely divided about the war. This sets him on a journey that takes him from the brothels of Mexico to the doorstep of the family of the fellow soldier he accidentally shot to death. Eventually he changes his mind about the war and joins the Vietnam Veterans Against The War to protest.
Kovic and his fellow veterans eventually storm the Republican National Convention in Florida, causing a stir that make sit to the national news.
Tom Cruise plays Ron Kovic in a revelation of a performances. Until this role he had been regulated to been a sex symbol in comedies and action films. This movie freed him from those restraints so that he could take on a broader range of roles.
Oliver Stone directed this biopic. He brings his own anger towards the war which fuels this story. He previously directed “Platoon”, which was more about the actual experience of being in the war. Here he gives the folks back home their story, told through the eyes of someone who gradually changed his stance towards it.