Full Metal Jacket
“I bet you're the kind of really impolite guy who would kiss a person on the mouth and not have the darn common courtesy to hold his hand!”
Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 family-friendly feelgood war movie written and directed by Stanley Kubrick. His second war movie after the funny and optimistic Dr. Strangelove, Kubrick thought it was time to tell the story of the brotherhood and happy times of soldiers in the Vietnam war. This was after directing several hit movies, including the feelgood family drama The Shining - the happy and sentimental story about a hard working writer, who forgets that "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" - as well as A Clockwork Orange, the humorous and thrilling coming-of-age comedy about a young boy, who gets in trouble with the law, but finds out that abiding to society's rules is actually the best you can do in life.
As usual, Kubrick wanted to create a film that was true family entertainment; and indeed, Full Metal Jacket is just the right film to watch with the entire family for christmas. The kids will love the funny jokes, and the grown-ups will remember their own time in the army with tears of joy. The kids will also get to sing along to the Mickey Mouse theme song - yes, Kubrick truly thought of everything. As we all know, the Vietnam war was a big success for everyone, and it ended with a peaceful resolution - everyone who was there can tell you about the friendly chemistry between American soldiers and the Vietnamese population. This is referenced several times in Full Metal Jacket, and can be summed up by a Vietnamese women's heartfelt compassion towards the soldiers: "Me love you long time!".
“You're so ugly you could be a modern art masterpiece!”
A group of young, hopeful recruits begin basic training for the United States Marine Corps; hoping to spread their ideas of peace, love and understanding to the world. They are welcomed by their drill sergeant Hartman, who does what he can to make the new recruits feel at home and at ease. His method of sweet-talking and giving praise is bearing fruit, and the homoerotic tendencies that you find all over the US Army blossoms to full scale under his command. One recruit is having trouble responding to Hartman's kind words and effeminate behaviour. This recruit, whose name is Gomer Pyle, can't abide to the sweet, sweet romanticism of the army, and is quickly labeled as the odd one out. Despite being fed with doughnuts, he doesn't fit in very well. His friend, The Joker (played by Heath Ledger in his last role) tries to help him, but the situation escalates into one night, where the entire platoon makes love to Gomer Pyle - they hope to turn him into a homosexual and in that way, make him one of them. But it doesn't work, and poor Gomer becomes more and more erratic.
After a long and ardous training in the boot camp - the recruits have to polish their boots, make their beds and comb their hair - the recruits finally graduate and is sent to Vietnam. On the night before leaving, Gomer Pyle has trouble with diarrhea, and is found by Private Joker on the toilet. Sergeant Hartman comes to aid, but is accidently shot by Gomer Pyle, who then trips over and accidently shoots himself. Witnessing this horrible incident would normally make you lose it completely, but Joker simply shrugs it off and goes to Vietnam unabashed, wearing his jacket. His full metal jacket.
In Vietnam, Joker works as a journalist, writing stories about celebrity scandals, travel chaos, performance enhancing drug abuse in athletics and the latest speculation on the soap operas.
In order to get a fresh angle on war reporting, Joker is sent to Phu Bai, accompanied by his training buddy Rafterman, who had received a really good camera for Christmas. They meet the Lusthog Squad, where Cowboy is now a sergeant. Joker accompanies the squad during the Battle of Huế, which came across to him as quite dangerous. After the Marines declare the area secure, a team of American news journalists and reporters enters Huế and interviews various Marines about their experiences in Vietnam and their opinions about the war. They all agree that they were having a lovely time in the sunshine and how refreshing it is to get away from the pressures of home for a few months.
They send personal messages to their families, apologizing that the postcard shop was temporarily closed, having been crashed into by a tank. Some of the troops said they missed their families and how much more fun it would be if their lovely in-laws were out there with them, while others requested more clean underwear. Really solid underwear. Full metal underwear.
After some time drinking, dancing and having fun, the soldiers remember what they are there for and decide to shoot somebody. With the help of the trigger-happy Animal Mother, a man who gave birth to several animals, they find a lonely sniper and shoot her for the heck of it. That concludes the entire Vietnam War, as the entire Vietcong was just a sniper doing her job very well. The Joker ends by saying he is in a world of shit, but hey, sanitation in Vietnam wasn't that bad.
Cast & Crew
- R. Lee Emery as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: R. Lee Emery used his experience as a professional confectioner and pastry-baker to enter the role of drill instructor in Full Metal Jacket. Critics praised his soft touch, his friendly demeanour and the chemistry between him and Gomer Pyle.
- Gomer Pyle as Recruit Gomer Pyle: What was Gomer Pyle doing in the military? Well, he was hoping to join the cast of Beelte Baily, but accidently walked into the wrong movie set.
- A clown as Private Joker: Private Joker is a funny guy, ha ha ha! He tells jokes, has a funny red nose and brings people flowers that spray water. Isn't that funny? Kubrick really likes his funny main characters, just like the funny guy with an axe in The Shining! Ha ha ha!
- Sylvester Stallone as Rambo, a commando soldier who is trained in combat and... Oh wait. Wrong movie. Never mind.
- Stanley Kubrick as God.
YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO HIGHLIGHT AND READ THIS PIECE OF TEXT, NUMBNUTS! WHAT IS YOUR MAJOR MALFUNCTION?!