Full Metal Jacket – Movie Review

Full Metal Jacket is a movie released in 1987 directed by Stanly Kubrick about the Vietnam War (also known as the 2nd Indo-China war in Vietnam). The movie follows Private “Joker” (which is his nickname”) from his basic training, to his time in Combat (These 2 elements of the movie each take up about half of the movie). The movie is not as much about the Vietnam war, as it is about its devastating psychological effects on those who experienced it (as shown through Joker). The movie consistently receives high ratings even to this day and is even on the top 10 of the top 100 war movies on IMDB (https://www.imdb.com/list/ls009678583/).

The movie itself looks a bit dated at times, but on the overall, most shots look amazing. Furthermore, the amount of Detail in the movie is incredible; each scene is meticulously crafted in order to make it seem accurate and realistic. There are some outliers which stand out as underwhelming and misplaced. My final annoyance with the shots is the over use of slow motion, this wouldn’t be as much of a problem if it wasn’t as over used as it is in the movie and the use of low frame rates in those specific scenes. This makes these slow-motion scenes start to look more like slideshows (but I won’t be too harsh since it was released in 1987) Overall, Full Metal Jacket simply looks stunning.

The editing of the movie leaves much to be desired. Some scenes show what should be very important Scenes are touched upon and then left untouched for the rest of the movie. These scenes leave no lasting impact on the main character. The only scenes that did make an impact were (in my opinion) within the last 20 minutes of the movie (15 minutes excluding credits).

War is not fantasized what so ever in Full Metal Jacket, most combat scenes show an excessive amount of gore and depict the trauma being faced by the “Green Berets”.  It shows the gritty reality, not actually seeing the enemy, just the flash of barrels, how any little thing can kill a soldier, physically and mentally. The story of Full Metal Jacket, in short, is about the “duality of man” (as said by a character), fighting a bloody, brutal, barbaric war, in order to achieve “peace”. The overarching theme is perfectly said in one of the movies advertising slogans: In Vietnam, the wind doesn’t blow, it sucks.

In conclusion, Full Metal Jacket is definitely worth watching. It provides a deep and emotional insight into the effects of war and the trauma it causes. Furthermore, it shows how war changes people while showing the barbaric nature of the war. All of this is accompanied by stunning and well thought out scenes. The only main problems with the film is its odd pacing as well as times where the effects look fake and the overuse of low-quality slow motion. On top of this, the lack of concrete and consistent character development is lacking throughout the movie, which can be unsatisfying. Overall, Full Metal Jacket is a must watch, with only slight errors bring my score of the movie to a 7.5/10.

Plays way to many games and needs to sleep more

Aditya Rao

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