'Full Metal Jacket' is the story of young men joining the marines and going through basic Training at Parris Island, South Carolina. It starts with personal hygiene and the shaving of hair off their heads. They are now grunts and these men are going to go through one of the hardest training programs around. Some will make it others will wash out. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman (R. Lee Ermey) has the job of shaping these young men to become soldiers as most of them are going to fight in Vietnam.
Pvt. Joker Davis (Matthew Modine) wants to be a journalist but first he has to be taught how to fight. Pvt. Leonard Lawrence (Vincent D'Onofrio) known as "Gomer Pyle" is a little slow and dimwitted. He will also become Gunnies favorite grunt to pick on.
Pyle will have a hard time with the obstacle course. He will not be able to clean and reassemble his gun. Pyle has a hard time even making his four cornered bed. Pyle should have washed out but when joker stands up to Gunny he is made a squad leader. He is also given a task of making a marine out of Pyle.
After a couple of days Pyle starts to come around but you can see a certain detached look in his eyes. Pyle brings back a jelly doughnut from the mess. Gunny finds it during an inspection and makes the platoon do push ups. Pyle doesn't have to do them but every time he messes up the platoon has to pay for it. Finally, the platoon has had enough and gives Pyle a blanket party. A blanket party is where you hold down the victim and either hit him with an object or your fist. The idea is to beat some sense into the man. For Pyle, this just sends him over the edge.
Pyle makes it to graduation but on the last night at Parris he is found in the head and he has his rifle with a full metal jacket at his side. The Gunny comes in yelling and he is shot in the chest. Pyle then sits on the john and blows his head off. Joker witnesses all of this.
A year later Joker has made it to Nam. He is a journalist but is still somewhat disillusioned by some of what is going on. He will later meet up with some of his basic training platoon and he wants to go into combat. The rest is for you to see.
This has to be one of the best movies on the Vietnam War ever made. The scenes in Basic actually do happen. When I was in Basic I had one young man go outside and hit his head on a tree until he was unconscious. I had another who drank himself to a section 8. Though I was too young for Nam the stories of the men in Nam are very close to being true.
Stanley Kubrick directed this movie and all I can say he is the man. Kubrick is possibly one of the best directors ever and he did a beautiful job on this movie. This is one of those movies that if you are going to basic you need to see this movie. It is true to the corp. It is what a Marine can do. It is Semper Fi.