Friday, June 16, 2017

Full Metal Jacket #MichaelLee

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When I hear about a gun slinging, bomb exploding, drill sergeant yelling, Vietnam movie, I think about this masterpiece put together by the almighty Stanley Kubrick. There's no better movie to describe the life of boot and after. Boot camp is a necessary step into becoming a soldier without it, you have no training and you might as well surrender right when you get there. Drill Sergeants are made to be tough and are taught to mold the strongest of soldiers out of the weakest of men and women. With the Vietnam War in full swing, many are drafted in and many join out of their free will. The first scene shows the boots getting their haircuts and entering 10 weeks of hell they'll have to get through together. 

After they get their first haircut, they land in the bunk room. That's where they first really get rounded up and screamed at by the Drill Sergeants.  As Drill Sergeant Hartman is yelling at someone, one of the privates murmurs a joke from Forrest Gump. Hartman quickly races down to the other end of the room yelling, "Who the fuck said that?' He soon finds someone to yell at and puts the blame on someone but Private Davis admits that it was him. Drill Sergeant Hartman proceeds to asks if he thinks he is funny. He then punches him in the gut and gives him the nickname Private Joker. Private Lawrence is someone is a fat, lazy kid who shouldn't have even been drafted in the first place. His nickname is Private Pyles. He has no motivation and every mistake that he makes gets put on everyone else because the Drill Sergeant caught him with a jelly donut in his locker. Everyone dislikes him and people beat him with soap wrapped in a towel. He soon lost his mind and started talking to his weapon. The only thing he found that he was good at was shooting a gun. He learned to take pride in his weapon. All of them pass basic training and make it through. Private joker is sent to Basic Military Journalism which of course he is criticized by the Drill Sergeant. Cowboy and Pyles are assigned to Infantry.  

 On the final night while Private joker is on fire watch, he hears noises coming from the head. He walks in and see Private Pyles sitting down loading a magazine with live rounds. He gives Private Joker this scary and crazy look. He jumps up and stands at attention. He starts executing drill commands and very loudly recites the Rifleman's Creed. Hartman bashes in to the head and confronts Pyles and orders him to put down the rifle. He refuses and shoots Hartmen. He them sits on the toilet, grabs the butt of the rifle and aims down sights in his mouth and then pulls the triggers.

Joker is now a Sergeant and with the Stars and Stripes. He is sent with his combat photographer Rafterman to find his old buddy cowboy from Lusthog squad. Before he does though, he meets with a major. The Major criticizes how he has Born to Kill written on his helmet but a peace sign on his jacket. The Major asks which one is it. Joker says it has to do with the duality of man and how we all have two sides to our selfs. I feel this to be very true especially for soldiers. They may be very different men and women when on the battlefield compared to dealing with at home life. Different parts is brought out of them in different situations.

They finally catch up with cowboy and meet all whole amount of new people. They meet during the Battle of Hue. They end up going the wrong way and the leader, "Touchdown" is shot by sniper fire. A medic goes in but fails miserably as he is shot in the leg and they are left both lying there to die. "Mutha Killer", runs in a more tactical way unlike the medic. He hides up against cover asks the medic laying on the ground where the sniper is. Right when the medic points to which direction the sniper is, he is the sprayed with bullets. The sniper ended up killing cowboy too through a crack in the building. A clear shot to the stomach. Rafterman who was so eager to kill ended up being the one who took her down. The sniper was just a little girl. Rafterman was bragging about how he took her down and now acting all tough. Killing a little girl isn't really something to be bragging about even if it is to save your unit. It's harsh and they all wanted to leave the girl to rot instead of put her out of her misery. Joker shot her while she was praying for them to kill her. There's always two sides to the story. We do what we do for our country because we think it's right. They do what they do because that's what they think is right. There is a lot of decisions to make during war but someone of the most important you may come by as wether or not to be human or be a monster.

I believe this film perfectly captures war and how gruesome it can be. Many people say that there was no point in putting any more parts to the movie after the boot camp scenes. I hardly believe that to be true. Both parts of the movie depict what a soldier can go through within his first year on the job. It's a stressful job and not for the faint hearted. We have to been more respectful to the people who went there and tried to fight for freedom when everyone else doubted them.

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