Celebrating Great Films

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Full Metal Jacket

Full Metal Jacket#94 at time of writing.

The opening sequence of this film shoves its fist so far down your throat it's tickling your balls. The whole first half rides an exhilarating torrent of comically over-the-top verbal abuse and brutal dehumanisation, teases you with the promise of a shred of compassion, then smacks you in the skull for a finalé.

And this is definitely a film of two halves. The first time I watched it I was so revved up by the first part that I think the second part washed over me a little, but on repeat viewings I appreciate that the second part is just as worthy.

Kubrick blends the darkest of black humour with a none-too-subtle message of the madness of war to produce the most rollercoaster Vietnam War movie out there. You will enjoy it, laugh at it, and then be shocked and disgusted by it in equal measure.

"These are great days we're living, bros. We are jolly green giants, walking the Earth with guns. These people we wasted here today are the finest human beings we will ever know. After we rotate back to the world, we're gonna miss not having anyone around that's worth shooting."

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