Full Metal Jacket

Stanley Kubrick's 1987, penultimate film seemed to a lot of people to be contrived and out of touch with the '80s vogue for such intensely realistic portrayals of the Vietnam War as Platoon and The Deer Hunter. Certainly, Kubrick gave audiences plenty of reason to wonder why he made the film at all: essentially a two-part drama that begins on a Parris Island boot camp for rookie Marines and abruptly switches to Vietnam (actually shot on sound stages and locations near London), Full Metal Jacket comes across as a series of self-contained chapters in a story whose logical and thematic development is oblique at best. Then again, much the same was said about Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, a masterwork both enthralled with and satiric about the future's role in the unfinished business of human evolution. In a way, Full Metal Jacket is the wholly grim counterpart of 2001. While the latter is a truly 1960s film, both wide-eyed and wary, about the intertwining of progress and isolation (ending in our redemption, finally, by death), Full Metal Jacket is a cynical, Reagan-era view of the 1960s' hunger for experience and consciousness that fulfilled itself in violence. Lee Ermey made film history as the Marine drill instructor whose ritualized debasement of men in the name of tribal uniformity creates its darkest angel in a murderous half-wit (Vincent D'Onofrio). Matthew Modine gives a smart and savvy performance as Private Joker, the clowning, military journalist who yearns to get away from the propaganda machine and know firsthand the horrific revelation of the front line. In Full Metal Jacket, depravity and fulfillment go hand in hand, and it's no wonder Kubrick kept his steely distance from the material to make the point. --Tom Keogh

Genre: Drama, War
Production: Warner Bros.
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 11 nominations.
 
IMDB:
8.3
Metacritic:
76
Rotten Tomatoes:
93%
R
Year:
1987
116
15,126 Views

Hartman:
[discovers that Lawrence had his footlocker unlocked during inspection] Jesus H. Christ. Private Pyle! WHY is your footlocker unlocked?

Lawrence:
Sir, I don't know, sir!

Hartman:
Private Pyle, if there is one thing in this world that I hate, it is a unlocked footlocker, you know that, don't you?!

Lawrence:
Sir, yes, sir!

Hartman:
If it wasn't for dickheads like you, there wouldn't be any thievery in this world, would there?!

Lawrence:
Sir, no, sir!

Hartman:
GET DOWN!

[Lawrence steps down from the footlocker box. Hartman opens the cover with a bang]

Hartman:
Well, now! Let's just see if there's anything missing! [Hartman angrily begins rummaging through the box, then freezes as he finds a jelly doughnut] Holy Jesus. What is that? What the fuck is that? [He picks the doughnut up with thumb and forefinger of his right hand, and holds it up to Lawrence] WHAT IS THAT, PRIVATE PYLE?!

Lawrence:
Sir, a jelly doughnut, sir!

Hartman:
A jelly doughnut?!

Lawrence:
Sir, yes, sir!

Hartman:
How did it get here?

Lawrence:
Sir, I took it from the mess hall, sir!

Hartman:
Is chow allowed in the barracks, Private Pyle?

Lawrence:
Sir, no, sir!

Hartman:
Are you allowed to eat jelly doughnuts, Private Pyle?

Lawrence:
Sir, no, sir!

Hartman:
Then why not, Private Pyle?

Lawrence:
Sir, because I'm too heavy, sir!

Hartman:
Because you are a disgusting fat body, Private Pyle!

Lawrence:
Sir, yes, sir!

Hartman:
Then why did you hide a jelly doughnut in your footlocker, Private Pyle?

Lawrence:
Sir, because I was hungry, sir!

Hartman:
Because you were hungry... [after Lawrence admits hiding a jelly doughnut due to being hungry; Hartman turns and walks down the line of recruits, still holding the doughnut] Private Pyle has dishonored himself and dishonored the platoon! I have tried to help him, but I have failed! I have failed because you have not helped me! You people have not given Private Pyle the proper motivation! [turns round and marches back the way he has come] So, from now on, whenever Private Pyle fucks up, I will not punish him! I will punish all of you! And the way I see it, ladies, you owe me for one jelly doughnut! Now get on your faces! [to Lawrence] Open your mouth! [Lawrence does so and Hartman shoves the doughnut into his mouth] They're payin' for it, you eat it! [to recruits] Ready, exercise!

Recruits beside Pyle:
[doing push-ups] 1-2-3-4! I love Marine Corps! 1-2-3-4! I love Marine Corps! 1-2-3-4! I love Marine Corps! 1-2-3-4! I love Marine Corps! 1-2-3-4!

Joker:
[narrating] Our last night on the island. I draw fire watch.

[Joker goes into the head to find Private Lawrence sitting on a toilet, loading his rifle]

Lawrence:
[eerily] Hiii... Joker.

[Lawrence loads the bullets into the magazine as Joker turns off his flashlight]

Joker:
[alarmed] Are those... live rounds?

Lawrence:
7.62 millimeter... [loads another bullet into the magazine] Full Metal Jacket.

Joker:
[shaken and worried] Leonard... if Hartman comes in here and catches us... we'll both be in a world of shit.

Lawrence:
I am... in a world... of shit! [loads the last bullet into the magazine and begins drilling loudly] Left shoulder, hut! Right shoulder, hut! Lock and load! [picks up the loaded magazine and inserts it into the rifle] Order, hut! [smartly brings the rifle down to the "order arms" position] This is my rifle! There are many like it but this one is mine! My rifle is my best friend! It is my life!

Hartman:
[storms out of his bedroom; angrily, to the other recruits, who have gotten out of bed to see what the noise is] Get back in your bunks! [storms into the head] What is this Mickey Mouse shit?! What in the name of Jesus H. Christ are you animals doing in my head?! Why is Private Pyle out of his bunk after lights out?! Why is Private Pyle holding that weapon?! [to Joker] Why aren't you stomping Private Pyle's guts out?!

Joker:
Sir, it is the private's duty to inform the senior drill instructor that Private Pyle has a full magazine, and is locked and loaded, sir!

Hartman:
[to Lawrence; slowly, quietly and strictly] Now you listen to me, Private Pyle. And you listen good. I want that weapon. And I want it now. You will place that rifle on the deck at your feet... and step back away from it.

[Lawrence insanely and eerily smiles, aiming the rifle at Hartman.]

Hartman:
[realising what's happening; bellowing angrily] WHAT IS YOUR MAJOR MALFUNCTION, NUMBNUTS?! DIDN'T MOMMY AND DADDY SHOW YOU ENOUGH ATTENTION WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD?!

[Lawrence shoots and kills Hartman, then aims at Joker.]

Joker:
[trembled nervously] Easy, Leonard. Go easy, man.

[Lawrence eases off of Joker, sits back down on the toilet, and puts the rifle's muzzle in his own mouth.]

Joker:
[alarmed] NO!!!!

[Lawrence shoots himself and blood splatters on the wall behind him]

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