★★ / 35mm / A mesmerizing beginning, an engrossing portrayal of how to train killers, Ermey, the foul mouthed drill sergeant, Onoforio, that evil shit face grin, a great Modine, the moral center worn down, succumbs to a tired, poorly realized second part, full of wartime clichés, exaggerated male bonding, blood thirsty soldiers, overwrought emotional moments, bizarrely set amongst a faux representation of Vietnam.
Along with "Apocalypse Now," this is one of the finest war films I've ever seen. Like most Kubrick films, it features unforgettable imagery, powerful writing, intense performances, and raises a lot of thought-provoking questions about its subject matter without forcing answers on you. And, if you just like action, this has some of the most immersive (and artful) battle scenes you're likely to find.
Pada menit-menit awal saya digiring dengan percakapan-percakapan yang kadang tegas tapi terkesan lucu. Hingga kemudian saya mulai merasakan dilema, ketika ada seorang prajurit yang tak pernah bisa mandiri, harus selalu dibantu dan dimotivasi. Namun nyatanya si prajurit merasa tertekan sampa menembak komandannya dan bunuh diri. Film yang dilematis dari seorang prajurit marinir.
The entire first half of the movie where the recruits are drilled for Vietnam action by the hard R.Lee Ermey is fantastic and the best part of the film as Vincent D'Onofrio is transformed from a dim-witted and nice big boy to a brainwashed killer. The second film disappoint by going the traditional war movie route but also show how war criminality is easy when one is scared and trapped in the middle. Powerful.
I wish it were more about the Vietnamese victims of the war than its American casualties, tho I appreciate that the killing of the sniper (Ngoc Le) at the end of the film signals the impossible cultural divide that exists for an American filmmaker trying to communicate the Vietnamese experience of the war. All the same, probably the war film I respect the most as it neither glorifies nor lectures. A chilling machine.