Full Metal Jacket

Year: 1987
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Producer: Stanley Kubrick
Writer: Stanley Kubrick
Cast: Matthew Modine, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D'Onofrio, R Lee Ermey
It was never like Kubrick to get caught up in phases, but this was his instalment into Hollywoods sudden obsession with the Vietnam War in the late 1980s. Two separate halves are done in his signature brooding style but don't really relate to each other.

The original first half shows the brutality of the military training style that we've seen in a million movies but never done this seriously. To say the Drill Sergeant's (Ermey, a real life former drill sergeant in the US Army) murder and soldier's (D'Onofrio) suicide are too over the top after what's happened isn't really fair.

The second half is another view of the combat experience in Vietnam (set in a ruined city instead of the jungle) that doesn't have much more to say that other films like Platoon didn't adequately cover before it. Good for the sake of experiencing Kubrick's art, but nothing special on its own. Apparently Ermey was called in as a consultant to the part of the Drill Sergeant but he was so convincing in hurling constant abuse that Kubrick cast him. And the ruined Vietnamese city was (amazingly) set and filmed entirely around London's docklands.

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