A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow Marine recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting set in 1968 in Hue, Vietnam.
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
While listed in the credits as Swoff's sister, Jake Gyllenhaal's character refers to her as Rini, which is in fact the real name of the actress who played the sister. See more »
When trying out for the MOS scout sniper, not all of the marines are of rank Lance Corporal or higher, the required rank necessary in order to obtain said position. 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.
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The title of the movie is the only opening credit at the beginning of the movie. See more »
As someone who is in the military, I thought this movie was perfect. If you are looking for a message about war or politics you won't find it here. This movie is strictly a story told by the main character about his time serving in the Marine Corps and his tour in the Gulf. It is true to life. From the language, situations, to the way the characters interact, the film is right on with accuracy.
The film is shot with striking cinematography. Scenes in the desert, especially with the oil fires, are breathtaking. The shots are done perfectly and originally throughout while the score and soundtrack takes it to a powerful emotional level.
The film will receive bad reviews from a political standpoint. I read a couple before I saw the movie that all stated they didn't like the movie because it had no message or stance. To that I say good. It was refreshing to see a movie as a movie. I was glad that it was just a story, and there wasn't any motivation underneath it. That's not to say that the movie is one dimensional. There are many undertones, just none of which are attempting to reassert or defame the current war in the East.
See this film if you want to see a humorous, sad, psychotic, intense, and most importantly REAL story.
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