My favorite moment in Platoon is when Taylor (Charlie Sheen) and King (Keith David) are talking about their U.S. backgrounds and core identities. I don’t remember it verbatim but King asks Taylor if he comes from a wealthy family and Taylor sidesteps a response. Soon after Taylor offers some kind of poetic or idealistic reason for having volunteered for Vietnam duty (“I wanted to see the injustice and conflict first-hand”), and King says, “Well, you gotta be rich in the first place to think like that.”
I fell for King at that very moment.
I naturally loved Willem Dafoe‘s Elias (and so did Martin Scorsese — soon after he offered Dafoe the lead role in The Last Temptation of Christ because of it) and identified with the potheads. And I hated the rugged whiskey-drinkers (Tom Berenger‘s Staff Sergeant Barnes, Kevin Dillon‘s Bunny, John C. McGinley‘s Sergeant O’Neill).
I’ve seen Platoon six or seven times, but I never once spotted Johnny Depp (and he’s definitely in it, according to credits).