Parents' Guide to

Jarhead 2: Field of Fire

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Graphic violence, language in Afghanistan war movie sequel.

Movie R 2014 103 minutes
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For a sequel having nothing to do with the original, this is a better-than-expected war movie. While Jarhead 2: Field of Fire definitely has quite a few of the tropes and cliches that have defined the war movie genre since at least World War II, the sense of a culture and espirit de corps among Marines comes through in ways far beyond simply saying "Semper Fi" and "Ooorah" on a regular basis. There's also an understanding that most audiences have long outgrown the fantasies of jingoistic '80s war movies where "the good guys" never die, and "the bad guys" die by the hundreds, particularly in a war American soldiers have been fighting for a generation. The movie doesn't shy away from the complications and casualties.

That said, in spite of above average acting (for war movies) across the board and exciting battle scenes, the story itself is formulaic. Like horror movies, it doesn't take a genius to guess which characters are about to get killed. The closer we get to Act 3, the more the movie begins to channel its inner Rambo, relying more and more on shoot-em-up violence to bring the movie to the expected conclusion. Nonetheless, the movie defies its low expectations, providing some engaging moments and an earnest effort to present the bravery and honor of Marines without sugarcoating the horror of war.

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