Duration: 1h 56m
Full Metal Jacket Movie Story
The exploits of J.T. Davis in two distinct phases of his time associated to the Vietnam War are presented. He generally acts as an active observer of the proceedings around him, either by his own choice or by the design of others often in authority. The first phase is as a recruit in basic training for the US Marine Corps at Parris Island, where he receives the nickname Joker from his platoon drill sergeant Gunnery Sergeant Hartman for his sarcastic quips, generally muttered under his breath, usually mimicking John Wayne. He learns that Hartman's foul-mouthed and uncompromisingly harsh ways, probably a reflection of the Marines as an organization, is not to produce robotic troops as some may believe, but rather produce killing machines. Joker's time in basic training is largely affected by Hartman using overweight and slightly slow Private Leonard Lawrence as the platoon's whipping boy, Lawrence's nickname provided by Hartman being Gomer Pyle for his ineptness as a service member, much like his television character namesake. The second phase is in active duty in Vietnam – Da Nang – he assigned to write for Stars and Stripes. He is not to write exactly what he sees but to skew stories in a way to boost serviceman morale and to convince non-military people the reason for American political and thus military involvement in this region of the world, especially in many Americans seeing the war as futile. In covering what becomes the Tet offensive, Joker may come face to face with the kill or be killed mentality without it jibing either with his own outlook or his assigned job.