A psychological study of operations desert shield and desert storm during the gulf war; through the eyes of a U.S marine sniper who struggles to cope with the possibility his girlfriend may be cheating on him back home.
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
Staff Sgt. Sykes originally had a tattoo of a panther on the back of his shaved head. Jamie Foxx sported it during his award sweeps for Ray (2004). The tattoo was eventually digitally removed in post-production because director Sam Mendes felt it made the character too "hard core." See more »
When they first arrive in Saudi they are in a tent when SSGT yells gas, and Swoffard tries to get his NBC Suit on first. All military are trained to put on their protective mask up first before before getting the rest of their MOPP gear on. 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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At the end of the credits, Sykes can be heard calling out the following military cadence, with his platoon responding: 'All my life it was my dream/ To be a bad motherfucking U.S. Marine.' See more »
Extremely powerful and moving War pic. A 'Platoon' for Gen X.
I saw this movie at a screening at UC Berkeley. Afterward the author of the novel it is based on held a Q&A.
This movie is a bit long, but so are most War films. It does, however, keep your attention the entire times.
This film is not just a War film, it is able to seamlessly mix comedy and drama, with such issues as Mental health and even a bit of ennui.
The characters are fully developed, each and everyone has an interesting story that is covered, briefly but perfectly. You get a broad spectrum of the kinds of men that go to war, what they left behind, and how it effects them when they return.
The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous and Sam Mendes' direction is pitch perfect.
Jakc Gyllenhaal gives an astounding performance, as does Jamie Foxx, but it is Peter Sarsgaard that steals the show, with a heartbreakingly subtle ghost of a performance.
This is definitely a must-see.
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