full metal jacket: good or not so good

Tools    





hello everyone, don't know if i'm doing things correctly since it is my first time using this site. Anyway, I saw full metal jacket by director Stanley Kubrick and I must admit I first was disapointed. I dont know if it is because i was expecting so much or if in fact I am not the only one thinking it but first let me explain why. No worries, I will not spoil anything. The most flagrant observation is the structure of the movie. In fact, it is two movies in one. Even though I was generaly disapointed by the film I must admit that the first half of the movie is not far from a masterpiece. The actors are believable, the composition may not be like in 2001 or clockwork but it is still pleasing to the eye and it is even funny at times. So at the hour mark, I was really excited to see the rest and witness the action. Then came the second part of the movie, we are shipped to Vietnam and follow the actions of our soldier(s) and personnaly i found the story bad. It starts by a presentation of Vietnam made by fellow soldiers which not only present the settings to the main character(s) but also to the viewer who may not be aware of the situation back there. Then, the main character(s) follows a unit and stopped at what may appear a village and it is then that i found the movie straight up boring. Every decisions made by our characters seems artificial and sometimes even unecessary and I even found sometimes writing lazyness at the climax of the film. So, I wrote that post so I can have backgrounds on everyone thoughts, what you guys thought about the movie. Also, this is not a review of the movie since I know that for a review one must not resume the plot of the movie as stipulated in the rules.
Excited to have everyone thoughts on the movies anf have a nice day



Hey Olivier, welcome. Yeah, doing things fine, 'cept for maybe needing to break the thoughts up into more paragraphs, but not big deal.

I'll let others go into more depth, but personally I've never loved Full Metal Jacket. Had a few great moments, but I wonder if people tend to think of it so fondly just because it gave us R. Lee Emery and one of the more memorable war film scenes of all time. But then, I've never been a huge Kubrick guy. Think it's kind of interesting overall, but I've never understood why it gets quite so much attention and praise. So it goes.
__________________



@Olivier Parent
I mostly agree with what you wrote. I wrote a review of FMJ and said a lot of the same things that you did. Read my review and you'll see:


Full Metal Jacket (Stanley Kubrick, 1987)

Full Metal Jacket is literally two films in one. I was surprised when the opening scene at a Marine training camp in the U.S. went on for a long time. I expected that to be a typical prologue scene that sets up the characters before they go off to Vietnam. But no, the Marine boot camp scene was 45 minutes long and could stand on it's own as a fine short film. I thought the boot camp stuff was very well done and allowed the audience to see what it would be like to train as a Marine. And it's tough!

Without a doubt in my mind the star of this film is R. Lee Ermey who plays the Drill Sergeant. Ermey was a real Marine and served in Vietnam...and this guy has the kahunas to make this role memorable!

When we get to the end of the first act, there's an earth shattering climax, in the training camp bathroom...After that I felt like it was the emotional end of the film. But no, from there the boys go off to Nam and that's where the film breaks down for me. The production was troubled with big delays between shooting and the film production went on for a couple years. Maybe that's why all the scenes in Vietnam seem disjointed, like vignette stories that aren't stretched together. None of the scenes really lead into the next scene. They simply take place and then another unrelated scene starts. This lack of unified vision is odd for Kubrick.

Even odder is the hooker scenes. First they encounter a prostitute on the street and in broken English she advertises her talents. OK it's kind of funny and it's a decent scene, but nothing much happens. Latter on we get a second prostitute scene, this time with her Vietnamese pimp. The same dialogue takes place as the first scene and once again nothing much happens as a result of the encounter. I expected the pimp or the hooker to pull out a weapon and kill a few Marines. But nothing.

The entire film was shot in England. The city battle scenes, while visually dramatic with all the bombed out buildings on fire, looks like something lifted from the battle of Britain WWII. I just didn't feel like a battle in Vietnam.

I have to say Matthew Modine's smart alack character rubbed me the wrong way. I never felt like he was a solider, instead he seemed like a TV actor stuck in a movie who spent his time grinning at the camera.

The first part of the film is powerful, but the scenes in Vietnam are just so so.



well thank you very much you litteraly wrote what I felt it really helps me should have red more reviews before writing my post anyway thank you very much



Ghouls, vampires, werewolves... let's party.
I liked the first half of FMJ. It just died right there. Never been a big fan of war movies.

My favorite Kubrick movies
1) 2001: A Space Odyssey
2) Lolita
3) The Shining
4) A Clockwork Orange
5) Eyes Wide Shut



well thank you very much you litteraly wrote what I felt it really helps me should have red more reviews before writing my post anyway thank you very much
I'm glad you posted, my review is old and just one person's viewpoint, but I think it's interesting that we had more less the same response to FMJ. I think a lot of people love the first part, but not the second part so much.



I liked the first half of FMJ. It just died right there. Never been a big fan of war movies.

My favorite Kubrick movies
1) 2001: A Space Odyssey
2) Lolita
3) The Shining
4) A Clockwork Orange
5) Eyes Wide Shut


ha thank you very much for your thoughtss ?mesmerized? sorry if I misswrote your name and I say I also share some of these movies in my top 5 like clockwork and 2001 but the shining always messed me up because I never been scared watching this movie and do not get me wrong I am a chicken when it comes to horror in movies I meen I was scared to death in the final scene of american beauty but shining never scared me even thought i watched it at 1 oclock in the morning.

perhaps it is because the tools kubrick used for tension have been used so many times since and as a viewer I have been used to it but again I dont watch horro and thriller movies because I am overall a chicken but yes the shining is for me a huge question mark



Ghouls, vampires, werewolves... let's party.
ha thank you very much for your thoughtss ?mesmerized? sorry if I misswrote your name and I say I also share some of these movies in my top 5 like clockwork and 2001 but the shining always messed me up because I never been scared watching this movie and do not get me wrong I am a chicken when it comes to horror in movies I meen I was scared to death in the final scene of american beauty but shining never scared me even thought i watched it at 1 oclock in the morning.

perhaps it is because the tools kubrick used for tension have been used so many times since and as a viewer I have been used to it but again I dont watch horro and thriller movies because I am overall a chicken but yes the shining is for me a huge question mark
The Shining never scared me either, but I like the feeling of isolation the movie conveys. I usually only watch this movie when there's a lot of snow coming down which adds to the effect of isolation. I'm also a fan of Jack Nicholson. Great acting.



Just my few thoughts on Full Metal Jacket. When I first saw it I thought it was great, just another Kubrick masterpiece. Seen it many times since and sadly my opinion of it continues to lessen over time. I was extremely impressed by the first half and thought it was genius, until I discovered later that it was all basically a rip-off from Jack Webb's The D.I. (1957). Watch this and you'll know what I mean.

The second part had great potential, has some good moments, but overall gets let down by a mediocre script that just gives us a fairly stereotypical Vietnam War impression. U.S. Marines acting like total goofballs who can't fight their way out of a wet paper bag. Then again, maybe it's realistic, but I doubt it. Speaking of realism, a lot of the combat scenes didn't have any. The corny gimmick of slow motion when people are getting shot is particularly cringe-worthy. Actually, the brief combat scenes in Kubrick's earlier Dr. Strangelove are probably the best I've ever seen. Was Full Metal Jacket Kubrick just going commercial? And without giving anything away I agree that the ending totally sucks. Awesome soundtrack though.

So yeah, I'm in agreeance with most of what you've said. Notwithstanding I'm fairly harsh on it these days, I think it's a very well made movie in many respects and there are flashes of Kubrick's brilliance throughout. As I said, my first impression was terrific and I thought a lot of the dialogue was extremely funny. But as I've matured it hasn't stood the test of time with me, and now I find a lot of it disappointing or even offensive.



FMJ has a great first half, with the training and one mans descent into madness. The second half was good, but couldnít live up to the first half.

My top 5 would be:
1) A Clockwork Orange
2) Dr Strangelove
3)*Paths of Glory
4) 2001
5) Barry Lyndon

The Shining is good, but overrated imo. Eyes Wide Shut was a disappointment.
I tried to watch Lolita, and I really enjoyed it, but the copy I rented was apparently damaged and would stop about 1 hour into it. So I need to see it yet. That was 14 years ago 😑
Spartacus is good but overrated as well.
I think I should do a Kubrick marathon this year and see if my order would change any.



FMJ has a great first half, with the training and one mans descent into madness. The second half was good, but couldnít live up to the first half.

My top 5 would be:
1) A Clockwork Orange
2) Dr Strangelove
3)*Paths of Glory
4) 2001
5) Barry Lyndon

The Shining is good, but overrated imo. Eyes Wide Shut was a disappointment.
I tried to watch Lolita, and I really enjoyed it, but the copy I rented was apparently damaged and would stop about 1 hour into it. So I need to see it yet. That was 14 years ago 😑
Spartacus is good but overrated as well.
I think I should do a Kubrick marathon this year and see if my order would change any.

indeed you should because even if you do not enjoy Kubrick movies there is still a unique evolution in his movies and also, there is a really strange parralel that can be made towards Kubrick and technology in 2001, clockwork and dr strangelove

I will let you think and make your own idea towards it but for instance in 2001 it is the death of the computer over the mankind, in clockwork the technology his used to help mankind again but failed and in strangelove the kind of computer that throws the megabomb or something is represented as a unwanted technology. I have heard about that paralel in an interview of a french director and I have yet to make my idea of it but can be fun

i hope you will have fun rewatching those movies and have a nice day



indeed you should because even if you do not enjoy Kubrick movies there is still a unique evolution in his movies and also, there is a really strange parralel that can be made towards Kubrick and technology in 2001, clockwork and dr strangelove

I will let you think and make your own idea towards it but for instance in 2001 it is the death of the computer over the mankind, in clockwork the technology his used to help mankind again but failed and in strangelove the kind of computer that throws the megabomb or something is represented as a unwanted technology. I have heard about that paralel in an interview of a french director and I have yet to make my idea of it but can be fun

i hope you will have fun rewatching those movies and have a nice day
With the exception of Paths of Glory and Barry Lyndon, I have seen the other 3, as well as FMJ which I would place firmly at #6, multiple times over 20 years.
Iím a huge, HUGE, fan of his.
But I really havenít watched any of them in quite a few years of late. I seemed to remedy that.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
FMJ is certainly not "not so good" - it's excellent.
__________________
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
My IMDb page



Are you gonna bark all day, little doggy?
FMJ is one of my favorite films. The plot is so-so but the character studies won me over.



Are you gonna bark all day, little doggy?
And the general raw feeling of it has not been replicated by other war films that I have seen.



Account terminated on request
hello everyone, don't know if i'm doing things correctly since it is my first time using this site. Anyway, I saw full metal jacket by director Stanley Kubrick and I must admit I first was disapointed. I dont know if it is because i was expecting so much or if in fact I am not the only one thinking it but first let me explain why. No worries, I will not spoil anything. The most flagrant observation is the structure of the movie. In fact, it is two movies in one. Even though I was generaly disapointed by the film I must admit that the first half of the movie is not far from a masterpiece. The actors are believable, the composition may not be like in 2001 or clockwork but it is still pleasing to the eye and it is even funny at times. So at the hour mark, I was really excited to see the rest and witness the action. Then came the second part of the movie, we are shipped to Vietnam and follow the actions of our soldier(s) and personnaly i found the story bad. It starts by a presentation of Vietnam made by fellow soldiers which not only present the settings to the main character(s) but also to the viewer who may not be aware of the situation back there. Then, the main character(s) follows a unit and stopped at what may appear a village and it is then that i found the movie straight up boring. Every decisions made by our characters seems artificial and sometimes even unecessary and I even found sometimes writing lazyness at the climax of the film. So, I wrote that post so I can have backgrounds on everyone thoughts, what you guys thought about the movie. Also, this is not a review of the movie since I know that for a review one must not resume the plot of the movie as stipulated in the rules.
Excited to have everyone thoughts on the movies anf have a nice day

Yikes! Block o' words!


(Just kidding, No worries)

The thing I never liked about that movie is that to me (much like your point about two movies in one) it couldn't decide what kind of movie it wanted to be.

We were invested in how G. Pile progressed/regressed. And then two pivotal characters die midway and instead of rolling credits we're suddenly in the middle third of Platoon.

Huh?

Yeah, it's probably a 6.5/10 for me. Most of his movies are like that IMO. I'm not sure what the fuss with this director is all about. He has Dr. Strangelove in his scrapbook, which is frankly phenomenal! A Clockwork Orange was good. But blockbusters like Eyes Wide Shut were pathetic and The Shining could have been done better IMO. Yeah, yeah, I stand alone, I know.
__________________
Rules:
When women have a poet, they want a cowboy.
When they have a cowboy, they want a poet.
They'll say "I don't care if he's a poet or cowboy, so long as he's a nice guy. But oh, I'm so attracted to that bad guy over there."
Understand this last part, and you'll get them all.



And the general raw feeling of it has not been replicated by other war films that I have seen.
if you are looking for a raw feeling then you must see platoon if you haven't yet. Known to Vietnam veterans as the most realistic of the big 3s ( platoon, ApoNow and FMJ)