11/12/2005: If Jarhead is not the worst war movie I’ve seen, it is one of the worst. It may be the first movie attempted regarding Gulf War I, and it is a complete disgrace. It does no justice to our troops, and sheds no light on what our troops accomplished. It is a cynical screed that exemplifies typical Hollywood disdain for our military, our commanders, and our troops.
The movie is not even realistic. The very first scene gives that away. Drill Sergeants stopped physically assaulting recruits a long time ago. The presentation of Scout Sniper training is poorly-done. In the real world, sniper candidates experience an extremely grueling regimen from which about one third graduate. Aside from Recon Marines, Scout Snipers are the best of the Corps.
Even from a cinematic standpoint, it sucks. It is boring. There is no serious plot. All the characters are hypersexed and cynical. Everything is one cliche after another.
The major part of the movie was the months-long buildup during which time the soldiers all talked about their girlfriends, cursed each other out, argued with the Sergeants, and maintained a low morale. (The narrator was fixated on masturbation.)
Two Marines received “gifts” from their girlfriends. Swofford–the main character–was dumped. Another received what he thought was a video of Deer Hunter, which was–in fact–a video of his wife having sex with a neighbor. I guess that’s called Hallmark with an attitude. How touching!
While every military deployment has very real setbacks (that’s why we call it “the service”), Jarhead captures only the negative and ignores the positive. As a whole, the movie hardly squares with the accounts of Marines I know who served in Gulf War I.
Jarhead is nothing but a hopelessly profane, cynical, pointless social diatribe that does our Marines a complete disservice.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a zero.