58 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Has not dated, still as strong as ever,
This review is from: Full Metal Jacket (DVD)
Unfortunately for Kubrick this film was released in a time when all Vietnam war films were measured against Apocalypse Now. He entered a market that was already glutted. When I first saw it I was disappointed actually. Then I have reseen it, and reseen it, and reseen it. When most other Vietnam war films have dated this one still has freshness and strength. Kunrick manages, as usual, to capture the dreamlike surreal character of the training of the recruits and the war itself, without ever losing the documentary feel of the film. Only a true genius can do that. Private Joker is not really the hero of the film, he is the observer we follow. He tries to observe the war from a distance, through his camera, never really participating, keeping an intellectual distance. It is not until he fires the final fatal shot he truly understands what is going on. Only by becoming a beast does he have any hope of surviving.
Another tribute is that everyone can watch it; anti-war protesters and marine veterans alike.
There is only one true battle sequence, and that is a kind of inverted siege, instead of the protagonists being botteld up in a house (a safe palce, a Freudian womb) by forces of chaos outside, which is the usual Hollywood fare, the marines need to get into the old factory and get the sniper before they are all picked off. An interesting role reversal, and food for thought.
This film is heavy on symbolism and subtle messages. But they are all timeless, dealing with the nature of war and of humanity, and therefore the film does not age.