Movie Stats & Links
Peter Sarsgaard, Jamie Foxx
||Only if you want them to see
war, sex, and black rain.
||See "Kiddie Movie."
||You get a lot of dude's butts,
some sex, and a little nudity.
||Um, it's a war movie and rated
||Not as much as you might
expect from a war movie.
||Actually, quite a few good
||When the Marine unit gathers
to watch "The Deer Hunter," and the "Apocolypse Now" scene.
||Actually, too many to list.
||Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher
Usually war movies are about two things. First itís the
basic training of recruits. Second is all of the action
related to being in battle. "Jarhead" shows us a different
aspect, at least which was the case for Operation Desert
Shield back in the early Ď90s, and that is that there was a
lot of nothing to do but wait.
A Movie Review
"Jarhead" is based on the memoir of Anthony Swofford, a
marine from back in the Desert Storm/Desert Shield days. We
see Swoff (Jake Gyllenhaal), coming into the marines as a
young recruit. As with those normal war movies, we see him
going through basic training, so much so I almost thought I
was seeing a remake of "Full Metal Jacket" because we had
the same "Sergeant yelling at recruit" routine and the same
"This is my rifle" routine. But enter Jamie Foxx as Staff
Sergeant Sykes. He finds Swoff on the toilet, tells him to
meet his unit the next morning so he can play Revelry, and
Swoff, who is questioning his joining the Marines at this
point, so much so he has been faking a stomach illness by
downing laxatives, thinks he has found a cake job because he
had some experience playing the trumpet. Little did he know
that Sykes has a different course of action for him, namely
to become a sniper in the Marines.
So, we get Swoff getting his sniper training, now
actually feeling like a part of the Marines, and part of
that is getting geared up for action. Finally, they think
that action is coming when Saddam invades Kuwait, and the
military is dispatched. With the mentality I suppose you
need to have as a Marine, Anthony and his unit are sure they
are heading into Kuwait to kick some ass and send the bad
dudes packing. Little did they know that at this stage of
the game, itís all about political posturing, and their job
was actually to make sure Saddamís dudes didnít head into
Saudi Arabia and get to our oil supply. What did that mean?
That meant a lot of doing nothing, a lot of masturbating, a
lot of wondering if your girl back home is still being
faithful to you, and according to Swoffís dialogue, a lot
So we see the boys trained for war, eager to fight, stuck
in neutral, bored, frustrated, and not trained to really
deal with this aspect of war. Itís a different look,
especially when the real military action began, because our
boys on film, as well trained as they were, it almost shows
that for this war, they werenít needed, and we really see
this by the reaction of Troy (Peter Sarsgaard), when he and
Swoff finally get the chance to do what they were trained to
do, and the end result.
I really enjoyed "Jarhead," after the typical boot camp
scene was finished, because it showed something different
that I donít think many realize, that many times, when
deployed, there isnít much to do except sit around and
wonder. Wonder about your family back home. Wonder when you
might get that call to get in the action. Wonder where
youíre going to masturbate. Wonder about a different way to
kill time. But maybe worst of all, wonder if the enemy might
catch him off-guard. Thatís a lot to wonder about.
"Jarhead" isnít really a movie about being in war, itís
more a movie about the anticipation of the fight. We see how
the Marine unit molds itself into one, how they might not
all like each other, but there is a respect for each other,
and that as much as war might be hell, waiting for war, for
a Marine, can
be just the same. Itís 4 stars out of 5. I would have given
it 5, and maybe there is no other way to portray boot camp,
but those scenes have been done, and done better in "Full
Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!!