24 August 2010
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
You write "Born to Kill" on your helmet and you wear a peace button. What's that supposed to be, some kind of sick joke?
So basically: At the height of the Vietnam conflict, a group of boys enlist and are sent to Parris Island, where they are trained by Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. The story focuses on two men in particular, Private Joker, a funny man constantly referencing John Wayne, and Leonard Lawrence aka Private Pyle, a simple minded boy. The two try to deal with the constant berating and hard training. The second part of the movie follows Joker after he is sent to Vietnam. As he is there, the NVA and VC launch the Tet Offensive and Joker reunites with one of his mates from training camp, Cowboy, as they march to Hue as reinforcements.
This is my all time favourite movie and it's the film that made me love Stanley Kubrick as a director and the Vietnam conflict as my favourite area of historical interest. Firstly, the script. The script is absolutely flawless - okay, almost flawless, as there are a couple of goofs, but that's because I've seen it too many times - and full of some of the funniest, most quotable lines in cinematic history. The story steals your interest for 116 minutes and refuses to give it back until the memorable chant of the Mickey Mouse theme. My favourite part, tho, is the fact the you don't have to watch both parts during one sitting, or even in order. Oh, and of course, there's that whole philosophy deep stuff.
Of course this movie deserves to be on the list.
Ziggi seal of approval!