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#2: Full Metal Jacket

January 2, 2011

Realized recently that I’ve seen a total of maybe 2 war films in my entire life, so been trying to catch up recently (finally saw the superb Saving Private Ryan blu-ray this past Christmas, which sadly will not appear on this blog.  I know, you’re crushed).

So what’s it about?: Broken up in to two parts, Full Metal Jacket shows the mental and physical chaos that ensues as men are molded into full-fledged killing machines.

The Good: This film is intense and thankfully breaking it up in to two parts helps the brain to have a mental refresh between each section.  And, yes, this is one of the most realistic war movies I’ve ever seen.  There are no heroes in this film, no over-the-top acts of courage, and even though it has the typical quality of being almost surreal as all Kubrick films tend to be, you still feel as though this really happened.

The Bad: So, not going to lie, upon first viewing this film, after the almost heartbreaking and yet terrifying first half climactic ending, the second part seemed like a huge let down.  Let’s face it, with the exception of Joker, none of the characters are actually likeable, and the ending shootout is just kind of ridiculous.

The Verdict: Frankly, this film is a must see, just be prepared because it will keep you thinking (if you just don’t get it, watch the special features on the DVD, they’re amazing).  And, yes, if you are looking for a war film with an obvious plot and an epic, emotional victory at the end, then go watch Saving Private Ryan instead.

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