What’s more to say about “Full Metal Jacket,” the Stanley Kubrick directed war movie. It was about the Vietnam War and was highly acclaimed upon release. This, in no small part, had to do with the direction of Kubrick (not terribly surprising is it?). Though, the casts also played a major part. Matthew Modine, Arliss Howard, and Adam Baldwin each did adequate jobs (as did the rest of the casts), but both Vincent D’Onofrio and Lee Emery stole the show.
But before I get into that, I feel I should focus a little more on the plot. It began with a montage of various new recruits getting their heads shaved to the sound of “Hello Vietnam.” This led to a montage of basic training, with the drill sergeant targeting an incompetent recruit nicknamed Gomer Pyle for humiliation. Overtime, this would lead to Gomer Pyle having a psychotic break (and also leading to the deaths of both the drill sergeant and Gomer Pyle. A year later, the rest of the recruits were in Vietnam with the main character being a combat journalist. This lead to him being assigned to a squad called the Lusthog Squad.
And of course, I’ve already talked about Kubrick’s brilliant direction. This is especially prevalent in his use of close ups as a way to demonstrate the psyche of that particular character. This was especially prevalent in what was probably the strongest, most powerful scene in the movie. This was, of course, the scene where Gomer Pyle killed the drill instructor and then himself. Speaking of which, Vincent D’Onofrio really nailed his part. Throughout the movie, he went from sounding like he was completely slowwitted to coming off as a complete psycho. Likewise, Lee Emery predictably did an amazing job as the drill instructor but this shouldn’t be too surprising. His background as a real life drill instructor helped come up with probably the most realistic and most entertaining example of boot camp ever on film. And other than that, it’s worth mentioning the music. Kubrick used pop music of that era for the background music. It was a curious choice but gave the film a more organic feel.
Overall, I can’t think of anything about this movie that I didn’t like. Aside from not having the traditional narrative structure for a popular film, I can’t name a single flaw. And for that reason, I give it five stars out of five.