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Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, Jamie Foxx
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Universal Pictures
Web Site:
Kiddie Movie: Only if you want them to see war, sex, and black rain.
Date Movie: See "Kiddie Movie."
Gratuitous Sex: You get a lot of dude's butts, some sex, and a little nudity.
Gratuitous Violence: Um, it's a war movie and rated "R."
Action: Not as much as you might expect from a war movie.
Laughs: Actually, quite a few good chuckles.
Memorable Scene: When the Marine unit gathers to watch "The Deer Hunter," and the "Apocolypse Now" scene.
Memorable Quote: Actually, too many to list.
Directed By: Sam Mendes
Produced By: Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher

A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - R

It's 2:02 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
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.

"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 more masturbating.

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 Metal Jacket."

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!


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