Jarhead (2005) Review


Jarhead is a 2005 American biographical war drama film based on U.S. Marine Anthony Swofford's 2003 memoir of the same name. The film was directed by Sam Mendes, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Swofford with Jamie Foxx, Peter Sarsgaard, Lucas Black, and Chris Cooper. Jarhead chronicles Swofford's life story and his military service in the Gulf War.
The film was released on November 4, 2005, by Universal Pictures. Upon release, the film received mixed reviews and was a box office disappointment, grossing $97 million against a budget of $72 million. Despite the film's mixed response, it spawned a film series of four films.
"Jarhead" is a slang term used to refer to U.S. Marines.
In 1989, Anthony "Swoff" Swofford, whose father served in the earlier Vietnam War (1961-1975), attends United States Marine Corps recruit training before being stationed at Camp Pendleton, California. Claiming that he joined the military because he "got lost on the way to college", Swofford finds his time at Camp Pendleton difficult, and struggles to make friends. While Swofford feigns illness to avoid his responsibilities, a "lifer", Staff Sergeant Sykes, takes note of his potential and orders Swofford to attend his Scout Sniper course.
After gruelling training, the Scout Sniper course is left with eight candidates, among them Swofford, now a sniper, and Swofford's roommate Corporal Alan Troy who becomes his spotter. When Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invades neighboring Kuwait, Swofford's unit is deployed to the Arabian Peninsula as a part of "Operation Desert Shield" in the Gulf War (1990–1991).
Eager for combat, the Marines find themselves bored with remedial training, constant drills, and a routine monotony that feeds their boredom, and prompts them to talk about the unfaithful girlfriends and wives waiting for them at home. They even erect a bulletin board featuring photographs and brief notes telling what perfidies the women had committed (known in military slang as a "Jodie Wall").
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