A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Jarhead 3: The Siege is a 2016 war drama in which a group of Marines must prevent an American embassy from being taken over by terrorists. It's a sequel in name only, with an appearance of only one character from the first movie (played by Dennis Haysbert). Unsurprisingly, there's considerable war/action violence, including characters getting shot in the head and killed at point-blank range, fighting with artillery, guns, knives, punches, and kicks. Profanity is constant, including "f--k" and variations used on a regular basis, and one Marine using racial slurs toward Arabs. Some drinking in the embassy bar.
What's the story?
In JARHEAD 3: THE SIEGE, Corporal Evan Albright has been sent to serve as a Marine Corps Security Guard in an American embassy in a Middle Eastern capital. While there are some anti-American protests outside the embassy gates, it seems that diplomatic relations have been improving, and so the gung-ho Albright finds that aside from training for possible attacks, the other guards spend their time hanging out and playing video games. This changes when a group of terrorists led by a man Albright had seen outside the gates storm the embassy. The terrorists are determined to kill an informant, who is also the brother of the terrorist leader, and find all classified documents containing information about the terrorist cabal and their whereabouts throughout the Middle East. Now Albright finally has the chance to be a hero, but becomes conflicted when he learns how American diplomacy is actually conducted in the region.
Is it any good?
There are precious few third movies in movie franchises that are any good, and this in no way breaks that pattern. The assorted characters are the types you've seen in countless war movies, from the corrupt pencil-pushing bureaucrat, to the gung-ho soldier eager to prove his mettle. While there's enough self awareness to avoid the good guy/bad guy dichotomy that so dominated most 20th century war movies, even the cynicism regarding American foreign policy has become stock as anything else. Waiting for anything mold-breaking is for the audience like the Marine security guards fighting the terrorists in this movie waiting for Dennis Haysbert's character to arrive to provide back-up and rescue. However, at least in the latter, the waiting isn't completely futile.
The battle scenes have some exciting moments to almost take one's mind off of how run-of-the-mill this movie is from start to finish. And, like previous Jarhead movies, there's an attempt to convey a realistic sense of life in the Marines, particularly with the day to day. Even so, most of that is forgotten by the time we reach the inevitable nonstop fighting, shooting, and kabooming in the movie's third act. The cacophony in these final battle scenes can almost make the viewer forget the terrible American accent mumbled by the British actor in Jarhead 3: The Siege, but not quite.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about war movie violence. When did the violence seem necessary for the sake of story and/or realism, and where did it seem gratuitous?
Why do you think Hollywood releases so many sequels, even if they have little in common with the original movie?
What were some examples of cliches in Jarhead 3: The Siege or in the characters?
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