Anthony "Swoff" Swofford, a Camus-reading kid from Sacramento, enlists in the Marines in the late 1980s. He malingers during boot camp, but makes it through as a sniper, paired with the usually-reliable Troy. The Gulf War breaks out, and his unit goes to Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield. After 175 days of boredom, adrenaline, heat, worry about his girlfriend finding someone else, losing it and nearly killing a mate, demotion, latrine cleaning, faulty gas masks, and desert football, Desert Storm begins. In less than five days, it's over, but not before Swoff sees burned bodies, flaming oil derricks, an oil-drenched horse, and maybe a chance at killing. Where does all the testosterone go? Written by
Screenwriter 'William Broyles Jr' identified in particular with Anthony Swofford's book as a former soldier who also had a son in the armed forces. See more »
The sunglasses worn by the Marine's are Oakley M Frames. However, the actual frame style was not introduced until the late 1990s. There was an early-'90s style, but much different. See more »
Anthony 'Swoff' Swofford:
A story: A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands, love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper; his hands remember the rifle.
See more »
The title of the movie is the only opening credit at the beginning of the movie. See more »
Gritty story based on the true life experiences of Marine recruit Anthony Swofford, a naive teenager who gets more than he bargained for beginning in basic training, then a long and hellish nightmare of combat after he's shipped off to Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm. Well-crafted, strongly acted, and extremely political the film certainly holds your interest, but the script is unfocused, the subject matter never truly compelling, and the momentum slows more and more as it goes along. Gyllenhaal is respectable as the reluctant Marine who finds himself in over his head, while Foxx is a powerhouse as his gung-ho sergeant. Starts off strongly, but gradually becomes conventional and loses its way. **½
14 of 21 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?