A naïve young recruit and his platoon mates are shipped from the intensity and
camaraderie of boot camp to a lonely outpost in a
surreal desert setting.

4
An important, compelling film.

Academy Award winning director of American Beauty Sam Mendes now puts us directly in the line of fire during the first Gulf War in the adaptation of Anthony Swofford's Jarhead. It's the summer of 1990 and Anthony Swofford - Jake Gyllenhaal a 20 year old third generation enlistee has just gone through basic training as a marine and is shipped off to the Gulf for active service.

Oppressive Staff Sgt. Sykes - Jamie Foxx is mildly impressed by Swofford enough to pair him with Troy - Peter Sarsgaard becoming the scout snipers of their unit. Revved up and desperate for combat the marines eventually realize the reality of this war is a waiting game and the real conflict is boredom. Frustrated confused and homesick Anthony will have to confront his personal demons who become a greater threat than the perceived enemy. If you cross Apocalypse Now with Full Metal Jacket you might get close to the psychological power of Mendes's Jarhead.

Taking us directly into the mind of the marine and how they deal with the tedium and boredom when they are unable to perform the task they were trained for, to kill. In a surprise supporting role Jamie Foxx delivers just as powerful a performance as Gyllenhaal in the lead.

The harsh reality of the terrain is beautifully captured by cinematographer Roger Deakins, especially the spectre of the oil wells burning in the dessert which will make you sweat in the most air-conditioned cinemas.

The message in Jarhead is simple, once a young man goes to war he will never be at peace.