In any event, the primary plot during the boot camp sequence focuses on Leonard Lawrence (Vincent D'Onofrio), nicknamed "Gomer Pyle," and his struggles to survive constant humiliation by Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (R. Lee Ermey, a former Marine D.I.) Played by Matthew Modine, J.T. Davis ("Joker") does everything humanly possible to help him. Months later while on an assignment for Stars & Stripes magazine, "Joker" accompanies a squad in the Khe San area. Once under attack by a Viet Cong sniper, most of the Marines react according to their boot camp training. Of special interest to me is the character Animal Mother (Adam Baldwin) who has become a highly-skilled (probably psychotic) warrior. He defies authority with the instincts of a ferocious animal but, at the same time, reveals a sincere and endearing concern for the welfare of his comrades. It remains for each person who sees this film to determine to what extent (if any) it is "anti-" anything. And perhaps at least a few will share my own initial reaction: Full Metal Jacket consists of two separate but inseparable films which share the same title. Together, they have enduring dramatic impact.
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