Jarhead is the story of one young Marine as he goes through training and then into Iraq during the early 90’s. It isn’t an overtly political film, although Kruger has a few interesting, if throwaway comments to make. It is a personal view of the war, and how war changes people/
As a film I don’t think that this was anything special. It was entertaining enough, but both Gyllenhaal and Sarsgaard are better than the film. The relationship between the pair is really what is at the heart of the film, the rest is simply the set-up.
And this is fairly understandable, considering that the film is based on the memoirs of Swofford. Of course as a film about war, and Iraq it does have a political message, if you want to see one. If you don’t you can ignore all that.
There are few big explosions, or shootings. There isn’t really all that much violence. What there is is a personal journey, and one which seems to suggest that there isn’t really much point in life. So I suppose it is an anti-war film. But aren’t all war films?