After seeing the Marines of Generation Kill taking down snipers, or "lighting up" as they would say, helping kids and torturing prisoners, we finally saw that they were real human beings. They had emotions, which they spilt to their companies. They played football, a game which raised egos and buried emotions stemming back from their high school days. Generation Kill's crew is definitely pro-war, yet they did not allow that bias to corrupt a fine mini-series. We saw the "heroes" realize that there was still much more work that needed to be done than simply invading the country and removing its previous ruler. We saw the casualties of war and what it meant to the world as a whole. We witnessed lying, deceit, but more importantly unity. Generation Kill had its weak spots, but it was still a strong offering for seven weeks from HBO. Anyone wanting to make a war movie or television series needs to watch GK to see just how it is done. You need comedy, you need drama and most of all, you need realism.
Closes out on a high, with an amazingly cutting look at the war coming to a close in Baghdad, and the lack of any policy for controlling the streets and the insurgents which follow. The final scenes are particularly moving.
Closes out on a high, with an amazingly cutting look at the war coming to a close in Baghdad, and the lack of any policy for controlling the streets and the insurgents which follow. The army is totally scythed through politically in terms of being corrupt and mismanaged. Crucially, the show does this without being blunt like much of the modern western media, it just shows a broad spectrum of events and invites the viewer to draw an opinion.
The ending scenes of the football game are brutal and somewhat chilling, as if all that were holding these disparate men together was the blood-lust of war, and even then, hardly. The same simple tensions of college errupting without warning from within the unit, and so viciously, is shocking to watch. The home-movie playback, scored non diegetically to 'The Man Comes Around', thick with biblical overtones, is slick and spellbinding and powerful - soldiers who look back on themselves and are disgusted, as if the American identity itself has taken a beating. It also works as something of a mirror on the media's reporting of the war from an embedded point of view, or the question of how to film something like war from within or without - and whether it should be filmed. Ultimately Generation Kill says that it's not an easy task to draw opinions on something like war, and if even the troops are aghast at their own actions, it's not a simple case of condemning them all for it.
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