November 3rd, 2005

wombat

Jarhead

I see that it's supposed to open tomorrow, and that some critics are hailing it as the new Full Metal Jacket. This may be more true than the critics know, but not for the reasons they think. FMJ was without question an antiwar movie, and it seems from the buzz that Jarhead was intended the same way...but people find their own uses for things. That's true for movies as well, and in the case of FMJ the characters Hollywood intended to show us as being wrong, evil and/or twisted wound up being adopted as icons instead. If I had a nickel for every grunt I knew who scrawled "Born to Kill" and a peace sign on their helmet liner in imitation of Animal Mother and Joker, I wouldn't sweat my retirement because I'd already have my million in the bank. In the same way, you'll find thousands of soldiers and Marines imitating Gunny Hartman.

So...Jarhead's going to do okay at the box office and get ranked on for all its faults (starting with the Kanye West theme song) and a lot of guys are going to wind up quoting Gyllenhaal and Foxx. Twenty years from now nobody will remember that it was an antiwar film but the film geeks.