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Generation Kill (2008)

Military & War and Television movie

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Gritty & Genuine. The Best War TV Show Ever Created

  • Aug 25, 2008
When I first heard about Generation Kill, I expected it to simply be a glamorised version of the Iraq War where it shows everything working smoothly. What I didn't expect was a gritty and true story of the 1st Recon Marines during the first wave of the American invasion of Iraq. It didn't hold back, and honestly I would have hated it if they did. I later found out that this was based on the book written by journalist Evan Wright who followed this company during the initial invasion. I haven't read the book, but from the other stuff I've read I'm lead to believe it keeps true to the novel.

The show focuses around the 1st Recon Marines company as a part of the initial invasion of Iraq that eventually overthrew Sadaam Hussein. It shows the true struggles that the marines went through during this invasion as they struggled with supply shortages and conditions. They are joined by Rolling Stones reporter Evan Wright (Book Author) who's there to see what really goes on in the Marine Corps. It's not about Wright or is it even about one particular Marine, it's rather a show about the entire company and their particular personalities.

This is the more interesting and disturbing nature of the show. A lot of the soldiers displayed appear to have some real mental problems when it comes to their enthusiasm to kill anything in sight, or just their general views of the Iraqi people. It touches upon the civilian killings and how some order were actually made by the higher ups to kill any Iraqi whether they had weapons displayed or not. On one hand I would say it's wrong to have people with such mental problems i.e. a bit too enthusiastic to kill. On the other hand, if you didn't have these particular individuals then would we even have an army capable enough to fight such a war.

Another aspect of the show, aside from the disturbing images or the general crudeness of it all is the irreverent humour displayed. It's not intentional and certainly isn't set up to be hysterical, it simply comes across as that as within the conversations of some of these men, like any chat with friends etc. you always get the odd unintentional classic line. This gives the entire show a well rounded feel and is something to be experienced by everyone. I applaud those who are over in Iraq and Afghanistan as, unfortunately due to my ignorance before this show I didn't know things were so tough.

It's an overall great show and another classic creation by HBO. Be warned, however, as it is very graphic in relation to violence and if you're easily offended by strong or racist language then I would advise you stay away.

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About the reviewer
Steven Stewart ()
Ranked #95
Currently studying Law at University, my main interests revolve around Politics. I read quite a lot and love learning about History. Not just the history of a specific time, place and person, but I'm … more
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There's macho, there's military macho, and then there's the over-the-top machismo of the Marines. In the HBO miniseriesGeneration Kill, one character--a Marine--describes his branch of the military as "America's pitbull." The seven episodes ofGeneration Killfollow a battalion of Marines as they lead the invasion of Iraq, ultimately rolling into Baghdad itself by the last show. The language is dense with obscenities and military jargon, but it's surprisingly easy to follow, even if you don't study the glossary that comes in a booklet with the box set. What isn't so easy to distinguish are the characters themselves, except by surface details: This guy has a hoarse voice, this guy is an embedded journalist (a stand-in for Evan Wright, theRolling Stonereporter who wrote the book the series is based on), this guy is a white supremacist, this guy has a mustache, this guy is an officer obsessed with the other guy's mustache. The problem is that people are ultimately defined by what they do, and soldiers in war are all doing pretty much the same thing: Shooting, swearing, and sitting around as they wait to shoot and swear some more. ButGeneration Killisn't aiming for personal identification; the creators of the series (David Simon and Ed Burns, producers of the critically-adoredThe Wire) aim to immerse the viewer in the texture of the experience--which, in this case, is mostly chaos and confusion. Sandstorms are as great a threat as mortar fire; pizza trucks arrive out of nowhere on ...
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DVD Release Date: December 16, 2008
Runtime: 470 minutes
Studio: HBO
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