Sunday, November 06, 2005

Jarhead (***1/2)

The tagline for this movie is "Welcome to the suck," but there's nothing sucky about it. This is an intense, funny, saddening and deeply human character study gussied up as a war movie. Imagine Full Metal Jacket, only better because it's actually just as interesting when the soldiers leave boot camp and head off to the war. I use "war" in a very loose sense of the word given that most of the film is about the downtime leading up to actual combat. Because this is the Gulf War, which was over in just four days, we don't actually get to see much combat. What we do get is a realistic portrayal of the boys and men serving as Marines, who've spent over three years training to kill only to find that killer mentality rendered useless overseas. The performances are outstanding: Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Saarsgard, and Jamie Foxx are all Oscar-worthy. Sam Mendes' direction is nothing short of perfection, and he keeps getting better with each movie. William Broyles, Jr.'s script is simple, direct, and powerful. The cinematography by Roger Deakins is the best I've seen this year. I enjoyed the lack of politics in the movie, though it is definitely anti-war, but then again, every war movie is anti-war. This is a great film. Those who knock it for being all build-up and no payoff either don't understand what the film was attempting or only enjoy seeing combat. This is a different kind of war film, and it's entirely refreshing.

2 Comments:

At 12:25 PM, Blogger Rick Fonte said...

"All war movies are anti-war movies" - what I like about this movie is that it's only anti-war in retrospect. That scene where they are watching APOCALYPSE NOW to rev themselves up for the war is chilling. THe voice over (which is from the book written several years after the events in the story) show a maturity that the character in the actually event is only starting to achieve/understand). Agree, great movie.

p.s. See, I won't even go to see a movie like Saw II or Doom, so all my reviews are biased by the fact that I want to see the movie... but you're right, I probably am a little kind, I just tend to find something enjoyable. In Flight Plan, it was really nice to see a femal action hero for once. ... But then I saw BLOODRAYNE which would have satisfied that urge and more, but I saw Flight Plan first so...

 
At 6:15 PM, Blogger d'shawn'tre said...

Wuheva, yo. Czech owt ma blog an ma moovie revus. jeffi likee.

 

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