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Generation Kill

Posted by admin | Posted in Movies | Posted on 02-09-2010


Based on the national best-selling book by Evan Wright, Generation Kill is an authentic and vividly detailed 7 part HBO mini-series event that presents a uniquely epic and intimate portrait of the first 40 days of the Iraq war from the perspective of the Marines of the First Recon Battalion – a new breed of American soldiers.

The mini-series tells the story of these young Marines physical and emotional journey into the heart of Baghdad in those initial weeks, a… More >>

Generation Kill

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Comments (5)

As an Iraq veteran I was skeptical about watching this at first, thinking that it would be a “Hollywoodized” version of the war. Then a buddy of mine told me it was by far one of the greatest shows he’s ever seen, so I gave it a go. Halfway through the first episode I was awestruck. Like the title of my review states, this show is brutal, relentless, and above all AUTHENTIC. Though I was with the Army, our job was very similar to these Marines in that we rode around in Humvees searching for the bad guys.

Anyone who has served in Iraq in a combat role will relate to these Marines all-too-easily. Well talk the same, have the same frustrations with the chain-of-command and understanding our mission some days (though thankfully my unit did not have anyone like “Captain America”), and deal with the same issues regarding supplies, lack of sleep, and fighting an enemy who the day previously may have been begging you for food.

Some viewers may be turned off by the extreme vulgarity and profanity, but fact is that is the way most “grunts” talk. And I think every Platoon or Squad in theater has its own “CPL Pearson.” Fact of the matter is, none of us are saints and war does bring out mankind at both its best and its worst. “Generation Kill” shows both sides to the Marines in the rawest sense. One thing I like is that it does not attempt to take a political stance one way or the other on the war. Some may view the series as anti-war, given the way some of the Marines question their mission and why they are there. But again that is another reality of this war.

I never thought I would ever want to watch a movie or series about Iraq, however this is by far one of the best series I have ever seen, period! For anyone who is a veteran, knows a veteran, or just wants to know what the war over in Iraq is really like, “Generation Kill” is a must see!

SFC James Mace, U.S. Army

OIF III, 2004-2005
Rating: 5 / 5

This HBO series is unbelievable. It captured the true meaning of being in the military. The political internal battle is captured with great affects. The series reflects the bond soldiers build with each other that no civilian can EVER experience. This is way we bond for a lifetime and fight for our country. This is the military and a warrior in action on every level.

The writers, producers and actors did an outstanding performance in capturing the truth.

Michael Basedow

CW2, USA (Ret)
Rating: 5 / 5

As a Marine who served with the 1st Marine Division during this time period and someone who knew and provided direct support for General “Mad Dog” Mattis and the 1st Recon Bn (and I’m familiar with a lot of the names I think I can speak with a little authority on this matter. For one, this show was slightly anti-war, and I would also say slightly anti-military. The Marines depicted in this series were a little over the top, although they do fit your very stereotypical Marines…the tough guy, the funny guy…the guy you wonder about(Rudy)…but they’re usually not to this extreme.

One thing that really ticked me off was the portrayal of General Mattis. He is played as a stupid officer who doesn’t care about anyone’s well being, just the mission at hand. I have to say that General Mattis was one of the most intelligent men I have ever met. He cared about the Marines under his charge and would never take putting them in harms way lightly.

All in all a great show, just wish some of the portrayals of real individuals had been a little bit more spot on…

Cpl Travis O’Neill

1st Marine Division HQBN
Rating: 4 / 5

This series is an accurate and engrossing depiction of combat in Iraq. The Marines are presented realistically, as neither heroes nor villains, but men doing their jobs. There are stoic idealists like Sgt. Colbert and borderline psychotics like Cpt. America, and everything in between. This is just like any military unit, or any group of people for that matter. Instead of idealizing war, Generation Kill simply gives viewers a glimpse of what it is really like. And by the same token, the series does not condemn warfare, as many documentaries and films are so tempted to do lately.

War is frustrating for the individual soldier. Not just the Iraq War, but any war. Generation Kill does an excellent job of capturing this frustration. The Sergeant Major’s obsession with the grooming standard is a perfect example of how military units often lose track of what their priorities should be. But in the Sergeant Major’s defense, standards are set for a reason. And if you stop enforcing some, others will usually follow. In combat, small standards and procedures often determine whether people live or die.

On a more technical note, the acting and writing in Generation Kill were very well done. Realistically portraying a soldier or marine is probably one of the most difficult roles for an actor. There are so many subtle nuances of being a soldier or marine, that without actually being one, it is hard to understand them. Generation Kill did a great job of training the actors to look and sound believable.

I was in Iraq for 27 months, in 2005 and in 2007/2008, and I can attest that this series is about as accurate as you can get in a film. I am in the Army, but I worked pretty extensively with Marines during both of my tours, so I have a pretty decent knowledge of how they work. In the end, whether you are Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force or any other armed service member, the Iraq experience is for the most part universal. At different times you feel a wide range of emotions, from disappointment and despair, to elation and nostalgia. And Generation Kill does a great job of bringing those feelings to the viewer in a realistic and respectful way.
Rating: 5 / 5

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.
Rating: 5 / 5

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