Saturday, March 28, 2009


"Every war is different.....every war is the same" so goes the line uttered by Jake Gyllenhaal's character towards the end of the film and they are important. Important because many, including myself were of the opinion this was just a poor man's update of Stanley Kubrick's FULL METAL JACKET. The similarities cannot be dismissed but are easily explained. Like Kubrick's film based on the autobiographical novel by the late Gustav Hasford detailing his experiences as a journalist in the Vietnam War, JARHEAD is the adaptation of Anthony Swofford's rather similar tale as a marine years later in the Gulf War. The boot camp scenes are pretty much the same leading one to believe not much had changed in the years between the two conflicts but this is pretty much where the comparison should end. Sam Mendes who had great succes with AMERICAN BEAUTY and the recent REVOLUTIONARY ROAD does a superb job of directing his cast and more importantly illustrating the "hurry up and wait" aspect of Operation Desert Storm. It seemed to me to be a rather odd roll for Gyllenhaal but as with most of his work his portrayal of Swofford is nothing short of spell binding. The real surprise for me was Jamie Foxx as Staff Sgt. Sykes. I'm not a big fan of Foxx but he delivers a realistic and compelling performance here and deserves full props. Great little cameo from Chris Cooper here and excellent film editing by the great Walter Murch. The politics are kept to a minimum here which works to JARHEAD's favor as this is truly about one man's journey and one you won't soon forget.


Blogger Candy Minx said...

Yeah, I liked this one.

1:05 AM  

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