Nov 112005
 

Jarhead (2005)

Based on former Marine Anthony Swofford’s best-selling 2003 book about his pre-Desert Storm experiences in Saudi Arabia and about his experiences fighting in Kuwait.

Directed by
Sam Mendes

Genres
Action, Comedy, Drama, War

Cast
Jake Gyllenhaal, Scott MacDonald, Lo Ming, Kevin Foster, Peter Sarsgaard, Damion Poitier, Riad Galayini, Craig Coyne, Katherine Randolph, Rini Bell, Dendrie Taylor, James Morrison, Arman Zajic, Brianne Davis, Jamie Foxx

I’m behind a movie review here. We went to see this movie last weekend.

While it isn’t the film that has been so brilliantly advertised, it’s a very solid film. It feels a lot like “Full Metal Jacket” early on, but with more humor. Then, it becomes an entirely new animal. More of a psychological study in that you (and the characters) know the Boogeyman’s “out there,” you’re just waiting for him to strike. And the longer you wait, the more stir-crazy you become within your own mind.

The acting is superb and the cinematography is stellar. It’s an anti-war film without being distinctly liberal about it. It’s a true story, and for the most part, Mendes tells it like it is. So, you can make your own judgment about it. But based off what you see, and all that happens, you have no choice but see the absurdity, not only in war, but perhaps in some of the USMC’s tactics as well. It’s heartbreaking to see what an experience like this can do to young men.

If you’re looking for action, this is not the film you’re looking for. No heroism, judgments, insight, or hope. Just the documentation and reflection of build up, the destruction of lives, psychological torment, boredom, camaraderie, and…waiting.

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