Welcome to the suck
Welcome to the suck


D: Sam Mendes

Universal/Red Wagon/Neal Street (Douglas Wick & Lucy Fisher)

USA 2005

123 mins


W: William Broyles, Jr. [based on the book by Anthony Swofford]

DP: Roger Deakins

Ed: Walter Murch

Mus: Thomas Newman

Jake Gyllenhaal (Anthony Swofford), Scott MacDonald (D.I. Fitch), Peter Sarsgaard (Alan Troy), Jamie Foxx (Staff Sgt. Sykes), Lucas Black (Chris Kruger), Brian Geraghty (Fergus O'Donnell)

Jarhead, taking its name from the slang term for US Marines, is pretty much Full Metal Jacket, relocated to the Gulf War, and based on the memoirs by Anthony Swofford, who wrote his book following his term in military service.

Swofford, from a family with a long running military history, enlists as a marine, before embarking on a gruelling training regime to become one of Staff Sergeant Sykes' sniper team.  Swofford and his fellow cadets are put through their paces and whisked off to the Middle East, where they wait for a conflict which may or may not come.

Despite good performances and good looking cinematography, it's a film where not a lot happens aside from being an exercise in inertia and not having much point besides that. Perhaps that alone is a metaphor for the Gulf War.


Jake Gyllenhaal & Peter Sarsgaard in Jarhead
Jake Gyllenhaal & Peter Sarsgaard in Jarhead