Friday, June 1, 2012

33/50x2: Jarhead

For the most part, war movies can be pretty good to watch. As someone who has been lucky enough to never have to fight in a war, it gives you that feeling about just how horrible war can be. Even though it doesn't even come close to the actual experience.

Jarhead is a film about Anthony Swofford's (Jake Gyllenhaal) time in the military during the 1991 Gulf War. Swofford joined the military after not really fitting into civilian life after high school. He then found out just how difficult boot camp can be.

But, Sykes (Jamie Foxx) notices that Swofford just may have what it takes in a different section of the military - the snipers.

As Swofford makes the switch to sniper, he is sent to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Storm and is paired with Troy (Peter Sarsgaard), who will be his spotter - or someone that gives the coordinates for the sniper to shoot.

Most of Swofford's unit doesn't see any action throughout the entire mission. They do a lot of walking around, training and horsing around - especially Swofford, who gets himself demoted due to a few pranks and accidents around camp.

Finally, after months, Swofford and Troy are given a combat mission - to shoot two Iraqi officers. They were finally getting their moment to shine and be apart of the war. But, at the last second a higher ranking officer comes in and orders an air attack to destroy the entire area. Once, again Swofford and Troy are left out.

I can't say this ranks up there with a lot of the great war films that I have seen. But, it was a pretty interesting watch and I really did enjoy the characters.

Gyllenhaal stood out pretty well, but Foxx and Sarsgaard were also pretty great in their roles. For a war movie there wasn't much action - but for a film based off of Swofford's actual memoirs, I guess this is how war was to him - so that is fine with me.


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