Tuesday, December 28, 2004

I'd Make a Shitty Marine

I finally settled down an watched Full Metal Jacket, Kubrick's Vietnam War flick, last night. If nothing else, it convinced me that I'd be a horrible Marine. The film is basically made up of a two not-entirely-related parts. The first part follows a group of fresh recruits through a hellish boot camp at Paris Island. What they go through convinces me that 1) I don't have the physique to be a Marine and 2) I don't think I could ever become a stone-cold killer. The fact that one recruit goes nuts and kills his drill sergeant (and himself) makes a lot of sense. The second half actually takes place in Vietnam, in and around Hue following the Tet Offensive, following two of the original recruits and a new bunch as they get deep down in "the shit" (combat). The combat scenes are pretty impressive, considering they were done in and around an old power station in Britain, rather than on location. And in the end, we find that even the best Marine recruit can't really be turned into a stone-cold killer. Yes, he does shoot and kill the wounded Vietnamese girl/sniper who killed his buddy. But he had to think about it. I think that means something.

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