a/perture cinema, the Official Movie Sponsor of The Less Desirables, presents The Less Desirables Movie of the Week, Full Metal Jacket (1987), starring Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D’Onofrio, Adam Baldwin.
Per IMDb: “A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue.”
I believe I’ve reviewed this film before, and perhaps more than once, but after watching it again with 3B just recently, it renewed my love for it. It’s super violent and shocking, perhaps the most of its kind. A mouthy, wise-cracking journalist goes through boot camp with an unrelenting drill sergeant, a dim-witted and all around screw up of a bunkmate, a violent recourse and of course, the effects of the war’s battlefield itself.
Matthew Modine’s “Joker” doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut, which gets him in some precarious positions in the barracks, with its occupants, with his immediate superiors and the brass that run the government’s military forces. He has to take the fledgling lug under his wing to make sure the rest of the platoon doesn’t suffer the consequences of the unfortunate soldier’s inadequacies. Then, as a journalist, he gets caught up in a conflict which sees heated battle zones become reality. It’s rough and Modine plays the part perfectly.
Modine is listed as the star, but I think the film’s two stars are actually real life drill instructor, retired, R. Lee Ermey as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman and Vincent D’Onofrio as Leonard “Gomer Pyle” Lawrence. Ermey’s experience and ad libs were some of the most memorable lines in cinematic history. I can’t really repeat many on here without flying into a ton of obscenities. And, if you’ve not seen the film, then I’d be giving so much away to say how either of them turns out. I’m just going to say that they are both intense.
Stanley Kubrick’s visuals are, in classic Kubrick style, very vivid, both in sets and action. He set the cinematic bar high and often surpassed it on his own. The full crew had their hands full because Kubrick was a perfectionist, but everyone pulled their weight and the end result was amazing. The soundtrack also was intense. If I say much more, then I’ll end up giving stuff away. The film is pretty bad arsed, though.
Rotten Tomatoes rates it at 95% Fresh with an Audience Score of 94%. IMDb has it at 8.3 stars out of 10. I saw it on Netflix, although I own it on DVD and, I believe, Blu-Ray. It’s probably one of my Top 10 and I’m rating it 5 stars out of 5. Have you seen it? What would you like to hear/read me review?
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“This is my rifle. There are many others like it, but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy, who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will. Before God, I swear this creed: my rifle and myself are defenders of my country, we are the masters of our enemy, we are the saviors of my life. So be it, until there is no enemy, but peace. Amen.” – the Recruits