Sunday, February 21, 2016

762. Full Metal Jacket

Full Metal Jacket
Directed by Stanley Kubrick

I was warming up to Kubrick after Barry Lyndon and The Shining, but he has displeased me once more with this.  If he was still here, I am sure that would greatly upset him.  Anyway let's talk about Platoon 2.  I mean, Full Metal Jacket.

During the Vietnam War, a group of new Marine recruits begin their training.  Our narrator is James "Joker" Davis, who wears a peace sign on his uniform and writes "Born to Kill" on his helmet.   But those are two separate things???  Who is this man???  We are never going to figure out such brilliance so we better just move on.  Anyway, their drill instructor is a horrifying man and after several traumatizing experiences, they are sent to Vietnam.

I thought this was very much your typical Vietnam movie, which was very disappointing.  Even when I don't like him, Kubrick usually brings something new to the table and really, how was this that different from Platoon?  I also hate this genre to begin with but perhaps if you are a fan, you wouldn't mind the rehashing.

This is Kubrick's last movie in The Book and I am quite sorry we ended on such a sour note.  We were star crossed lovers from the start, as I was never going to like a Vietnam War movie anyway.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Anthony Michael Hall was originally going to play Private Joker but couldn't agree with Kubrick on a salary.


  1. The drill sergeant was a real drill sergeant who was brought in to coach the actor they had cast but was so much better that they decided to use him instead.

    Surely the 'peace' and 'born to kill' were deliberate contradictions on the state of war and the mindset of those involved?

    I'd like to defend this but I haven't seen Platoon which I think is relevant to the discussion. Maybe I am just a testosterone-fuelled male who can't stop chuckling at "WHAT IS YOUR MAJOR MALFUNCTION, NUMB NUTS?" Maybe I'm supposed to be drawn into this world of machismo in the same way that Kubrick invites me to be titillated by the various immoral scenarios in Eyes Wide Shut? And then taken aback when confronted with the realities of war in the second half of the film where it's not just a comedy in a training camp?

  2. I love your sarcasm about James "Joker" Davis. Your reviews ALWAYS entertain me. :) Never saw this movie but love reading your reviews.

  3. Haha thank you Diana! I agree with you Dessie about Kubrick's intention. But the whole disillusionment, loss of innocence, etc thing is a journey I have taken many times with films and I am kind of bored with the whole concept.