Sunday, August 12, 2012

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Vietnam War Movie #3

Synopsis: It’s an hour of “drop and give me 20, you filthy pukes!”, followed by another  hour of “cover me, I’m going in!”

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “A superb ensemble case falls in for action in Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant saga about the Vietnam War and the dehumanizing process that turns people into trained killers. Joker (Matthew Modine), Animal Mother (Adam Baldwin), Gomer (Vincent D’Onofrio), Eightball (Dorian Harewood), Cowboy (Arliss Howard) and more – all are plunged into a boot-camp hell pitbulld by a leatherlung D.I. (Lee Ermey) who views the would-be devil dogs as grunts, maggots or something less.”

What Did I Learn?: I’m pretty sure I would last about ten minutes, tops, in the US Marine Corps.

Really?: So wait – Joker’s boss has the power to send him into any war zone in the country, and our hero decides to piss him off with smart ass comments during a staff meeting in the middle of the Tet Offensive?

Rating: Like any Stanley Kubrick film, Full Metal Jacket is beautifully filmed (the scene of Joker mercy-killing the wounded 14-year old female sniper, with his face half in darkness is quite memorable), stylishly directed and compelling. It’s a very good movie, although it seems more like a collection of unconnected short stories than a holistic narrative, and we never get to learn very much about Joker. Lots of style, and more than a few great scenes, but Full Metal Jacket is a bit weak on story and character development. 7/10 stars.


  1. I always though it was about the duality of man...and asses that look like 50lbs of chewed bubblegum.


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