I watched the original 1990 edition of Jacob’s Ladder many years ago. It starred Tim Robbins as a Vietnam War veteran who was haunted by his past and tortured by the demons of his war experience. It had been recommended to me as a deeply spiritual movie with themes of the afterlife, Heaven and Hell, the nature of suffering, and attachment. It was a movie with great psychologic depth and I enjoyed it tremendously. So I was excited when I saw there was a remake being produced: it would be interesting to see how the recent experiences of war veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan would shape and model the background for the new film.
I was not disappointed. This was a fine remake with good cinematography and graphic art. It was faithful to the original story and also introduced new perspectives and takes on the traumatic experiences of war and warriors. Interweaving story lines explore issues around drugs and the tendency of some veterans to self-medicate. The main character suffers as he gradually moves to closure and resolution of his anxieties, fears, doubts, and failings.