Troy becomes distant from his friends. When Swoff and his spotter Troy are sent, along with Staff Sergeant Sykes , to the Saudi desert, they're instructed to hydrate and train. Macho and childish at the same time, they can't imagine the horrors they will behold. Jarhead shows these events not from the perspective of a civilian, war correspondent, or diplomat, but from that of a jarhead jargon for marine sniper who was supposed to be on the front line of the ground conflict - except there was no front line. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. This is not a strongly political or anti-war film certainly compared to pictures like Apocalypse Now or Platoon. And Dennis Haysbert shows up a couple of times as a major.
And, to strengthen the connection to Apocalypse Now, Mendes has employed Walter Murch, who edited the earlier film. Several skirmishes break out inside the platoon, and Swoff holds a gun to the temple of one of his tentmates. There is a lot of sex, nudity, foul language, and drinking. By rights, then, Jarhead the movie can expect record-breaking bookings at army bases worldwide. According to the veterans, the film displays in an exaggerated and implausible manner.
The Marines march through the , strewn with the burnt vehicles and charred bodies of retreating Iraqi soldiers, the aftermath of a bombing campaign. Jarhead the self-imposed moniker of the Marines follows Swoff Gyllenhaal from a sobering stint in boot camp to active duty, where he sports a sniper rifle through Middle East deserts that provide no cover from the heat or Iraqi soldiers. The movie captures the tone of Camus' narrator, who knows what has happened but not why, nor what it means to him, nor why it happens to him. Ex-Marine Nathaniel Fick picks out a scene where the marines are dancing around a bonfire. Ordered to toe the official U.
Swofford returns home to his family and girlfriend but discovers she has a new boyfriend. It is a very painful scene to take in. The denouement of the movie occurs when Swofford and Troy are finally given a sniping mission. It is incredibly hard to imagine the toll that being in the Marine Corps, and being involved in such a situation, could take on your mind and body but this movie makes a really good attempt. Characters curse relentlessly, smoke cigarettes, drink, and do drugs. Because war is increasingly fought with airborne technology, the men on the ground have little to do but train and think.
I am surprised that this didn't recieve a better score than it did. He attends his funeral, reunites with some of his old friends and afterwards reminisces about the effects of the war. And yes the detailing of male sexuality in the military is not for everyone's delicate ears, but it happens and probably a lot more obscene than this. Don't waste your time, money or brain on this one---remember I told you so. Their sergeant is a hard-ass, not because he is pathological but because he wants to prepare them to save their lives. In his book, Swofford makes it clear that he lusted for action since youth.
Swofford is locked in a battle between his apathy for life, his drive to succeed at something, and pressure from the Marines. He makes pals with Sarsgaard's latest lunatic and other war pic types: tough black man Foxx , hick Lucas Black , guy with glasses Brian Geraghty , Hispanic who lives for la familia Jacob Vargas and old Marine Chris Cooper, Gyllenhaal's October Sky dad and the volatile ex-Marine from Mendes' American Beauty. We are still In the desert. Following an accidental air attack from friendly forces, the Marines advance through the desert, facing no enemies on the ground. And, because the movie perceives life as essentially futile, its perspective is flawed. Instead, Jarhead is more interested in the interior lives of men at war, particularly their sexual fantasies — and jealousies.
It loses it's way in the second half and is too long. If Russell had Catch-22 as his guide, it is instructive that the book Swofford is reading is The Stranger by Camus. It is a very fine film that will assure Sam Mendes' position as one of the great directors working in films. Nothing in his development seems jarring or poorly motivated. There are some wonderful twilight and nighttime shots that appear almost to have taken place on a different planet. The film also fails to delve into the politics behind our current war efforts in the region.
It includes frequent scenes of violence, including shooting at targets and people , hazing rituals, fights, explosions, and grueling training exercises. Later, Swofford learns of Troy's death during a surprise visit from Fergus. Swofford obtains unauthorized alcohol and organizes an impromptu Christmas party, arranging for Fergus to cover his watch so he can celebrate. This is Mendes' Gulf War answer to Apocalypse Now - he announces as much by connecting the two in an early scene showing marines whipped into a frenzy while watching the helicopter attack sequence from Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 film. At the last second before Swofford takes the shot, Major Lincoln interrupts them to call in an air strike. Buzzed, buffed and vacant Gyllenhaal is called upon to carry a movie with no lead character. The film shows frequent images of carcasses burned and broken along the Gulf war's infamous Highway of Death.