• Publication date: August 10, 2011

Vietnam can kill me, but it can't make me care Full Metal Jacket: Born To Kill

Based on Gustav Hasford's novel The Short Timers, Stanley Kubrick's unusual answer to the 1980s spate of Vietnam War films actually seems like two films in one.

Based on Gustav Hasford's novel The Short Timers, Stanley Kubrick's unusual answer to the 1980s spate of Vietnam War films actually seems like two films in one.

The first half focuses on the training of a squad of Marine grunts on Parris Island, and more specifically on the troubled relationship between the brutal drill sergeant and an oafish misfit who just happens to be a sharpshooter.

The second half takes the grunts to Hue City, where the climactic battle of the 1968 Tet Offensive--and the turning point of the Vietnam War--took place.

The story is told through the eyes of Private Joker, a cynical aspiring photojournalist who is forced to fight for his life and the lives of his fellow recruits.

As a Vietnam War film, Kubrick's is notable for focusing on urban, rather than jungle, battlefields--with snipers hiding behind every bombed-out building.

London's abandoned docklands may not be the most obvious choice of location to replicate the ravages of the Vietnam landscape, but this is where Kubrick shot the film, sticking to his dogged principles of not shooting outside his adopted home.

A moving commentary on the dehumanizing process that occurs when soldiers prepare and engage in battle, Full Metal Jacket is an unforgettable experience from one of the most original voices to ever pick up a movie camera.

Year: 1987

Runtime: 116 mins

Genre: Drama/ War

Starring:

Matthew Modine

R. Lee Ermey

Vincent D'Onofrio

Arliss Howard

Dorian Harewood

Adam Baldwin

Ed O'Ross

Kevyn Major Howard

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick