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memento_mori's Movie Reviews (203)

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Full Metal Jacket 
One of the better anti-war movies.
3.5/4 stars

I've said enough about Stanley Kubrick. The guy was a genius, a master of his craft and is my favorite visual director. He was crazy and not much of a treat to work with, but he made some darn good films.
Full Metal Jacket is no exception.

There are grandiose moments all over in this film. Every shot contributes something, you get that feeling when you watch the slow motion sequences if the recruits running through a lake of mud and Gunnery Sergeant Hartman spewing insults at them while keeping a straight face.
R. Lee Ermey plays Hartman and he steals the entire movie for me. He is on the top of his game and has me laughing every time he is on-screen. You want to see a good actor? Watch FMJ and tell me all of that was scripted.
I simply adored the characters and the way they interacted with each other. They toyed with each other's emotions, especially with the overweight Private Pyle. The movie deeply explores his emotions and struggles with the other soldiers, since he has social anxiety and is demotivated to the point that he endures a huge character change and his story culminates in a shocking end between him and another character.

The problem was, after that incident the movie slowed down waaaay too much, almost stopping to a halt. That's the issue when pulling a dangerous move like that, it feels like the climax happened too soon and it starts going again.
Luckily, it speeds up after. We get a monologue from our new main character and a few tense scenes in the barracks in Viet Nam.

And when I thought we were already past the highlight of this movie, we got something better than Hartman.
The middle to the ending of the film are absolutely amazing.
It has so many memorable scenes. The Surfin' Bird song, the interviews, the helicopter, the mission itself and my favorite part of the whole movie: the sniper confrontation.
See, I had another problem with this movie. It wasn't very self-aware. I didn't know what kind of an approach it was taking and what it was trying to say about itself. Is it trying to say that war is bad or patriotic? Is it trying to say that war changes us for the better or the worse?
All of my questions were left unanswered. Until the climax: the sniper confrontation.
At the end of that scene, I knew exactly what kind of a film it was trying to be. I will not spoil my thoughts on it now, I simply recommend you see it and judge it for yourself. The meaning is impeccable.

This is a stunning movie, both visually and story-wise. It allows us to look at soldiers from a psychological point of view and really offers some great explanations through the interviews of the characters in Viet Nam.
It is a movie that is conflicted with being a war movie and strongly emphasizes the death ratio and troubled atmosphere of war.


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