blue balls

If you’re looking for an anti-war movie in this movie, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

If you’re looking for a good war movie in this movie, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

In fact, you’ll pretty much just be sorely disappointed. Disappointment is pretty much the theme of the movie.

That’s not to say that it’s not a good movie – I’ve had a few hours and a few cocktails to mull it over, and I am beginning to think that was the point.

You leave this movie thinking “why did I just sit here for 2 hours watching these events unfold, seemingly to no particular end.”

“I never even fired my rifle.” (a quote from the movie)

That, I think, is probably a pretty good representation of what Swofford’s experience in Iraq is all about. All the masculine ideals of marine warfare and masculinity stewing in a 112 degree desert with no relief in sight. There are a lot of metaphors to masturbation in this movie. The mother of all battles, it seems, culminated in a bad case of blue balls. So much foreplay, so little release.

I have a feeling Swofford’s book is probably a lot better than this movie was, but it was food for thought nonetheless.