Based on U.S. Marine Anthony Swofford’s 2003 memoir of the same name, a sniper during the Gulf War finds difficulty carrying on with his assignment when he starts to imagine his girlfriend is cheating on him back in the States.
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Like a fine wine, this dystopian war drama has aged superbly. Mendes cynically explores the plight of jaded soldiers and the socio-cultural malaise of war in limbo. As revealing about gender dysfunctions as it is about political conflict. Gyllenhaal nails it.
An incendiary, pitch-black look at the first Gulf War. Jake Gyllenhaal is brilliant here, jumping from amicable to terrifying to pathetic all in one go. It’s also funny as hell. Where The Hurt Locker was more of a fictional documentary, just presenting events, Jarhead has a clear political commentary, in the form of Gyllenhaal’s voiceover. Also, he’s shirtless a good percentage of the time. Always a plus.
Beautiful cinematography. Everything else is sloppy. This is probably the least affecting war movie I've ever seen. It was boring and I didn't care about the characters. It tries to reference classic Vietnam movies in an ironic way but ends up coming over as a pale, lifeless imitation. Not fit to share the same jeep as David Simon's TV masterpiece Generation Kill', which is about the second Iraq war.
Dimenticati i soliti sentimenti patriottici e gli eroismi che affollano le storie di guerra americane, questo film dipinge un ritratto dettagliato della follia che sta dietro i Marine americani, detti "Jarhead", e le loro guerre. L'assurdità dei comportamenti, le futili motivazioni e il malato sadismo xenofobo muovono una critica pungente verso le forze armate statunitensi. Direzione della fotografia da capogiro.
"You know why I don't [quit military and get a job of 100,000K a year]? Because I like this job.."
The sergeant is back to square one, the jarheads are back to square one, the country is back to square one. Everyone and everything is back to square one... The movie tells you, in a modest, realistic and satirical way that all is utterly arbitrary and meaningless.
That we get so many genres within the war genre itself is one of the things that keeps me returning to it. This one (my fav Mendes) has the benefit of being both a great black comedy and a terrific satire/depiction on the conditions which breed violence as an outlook on life. Death is literally depicted as the goal which will provide these solider's meaning for existence, so masculine war games follow naturally.