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Generation Kill: a Unique Look on the US - Iraq Invasion

A friend just shared me this new upcoming tv series of HBO titled Generation Kill. At first glance I will think it is an action packed, R-18, gore oriented fictional tv show. But I'm wrong with the fiction part. I checked the background of the TV show and I learned it is based on a book written by a Rolling Stone correspondent Evan Wright who worte his experience as an embedded reporter with the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion‎ of the US Marine Corps during the 2003 Iraq invasion.

Then I stopped.

War themed TV series or movies is not my line especially if it is based on a real war. Maybe because I'm used to watching sci-fi and fantasy movies and series that is why Generation Kill's concept didn't appeal to me that much. But I gave it a try since my friend ask me to review it. So I sat down and prepared myself to watch the first four episodes she gave me. But after several minutes, I found myself pressing the fast forward button just to scan the whole show.

From the award-winning team behind HBO’s The Wire comes GENERATION KILL, a seven-part HBO mini-series focusing on the first 40 days of the 2003 Iraq war from the perspective of a group of elite U.S. First Reconnaissance (Recon) Marines at the spearhead of the invasion.

Generation Kill focuses on the men on the ground, a portrait rarely seen in film or television. Says Eric Kocher, a Marine who served as key military advisor to the production, “GENERATION KILL gives an objective view of what happened (during the Iraq war) without politics or agenda. It’s the lives of these individuals… The war is just the backdrop.”

At the forefront and often working in uncertain conditions with little protection except their lightly armored Humvees, the Marines faced indicators of what was to come for the invasion: insufficient supplies, conflicting orders, cryptic combat strategy, unknown enemy, insurgency and civilians caught in the middle. The men of Bravo Company and their sister company Alpha adapted with skill, resolve, subversive humor, stoicism and occasionally blind faith.

Here is my verdict. The show is pretty decent for a war themed mini series. From the costume, details and even the way of living of Soldiers are clearly depicted. It is also a good idea to get actors from the Second Platoon of the First Reconnaissance Battalion's Bravo Company that will surely give a very believable portrayal of the characters as soldiers. The main cast though are not real soldiers but did a very good job on their respective roles. An ensemble cast of up-and-coming stars is introduced in GENERATION KILL: Alexander Skarsgård (HBO’s True Blood) stars as Sgt. Brad “Iceman” Colbert; James Ransone (HBO’s The Wire) plays Cpl. Josh Ray Person; Lee Tergesen (HBO’s OZ) is Evan “Scribe” Wright; Jon Huertas (Hot Tamale) plays Sgt. Tony “Poke” Espera; and Stark Sands (Day of the Dead) plays Lt. Nathaniel Fick. Eric Kocher, Jeffrey Carisalez and Rudy Reyes, Marines from the First Recon Battalion who were featured in Wright’s book, also serve as cast members and advisors.

The show is very fateful to Wright's book, so fateful that the tv show is close to becoming a war documentary. Maybe this is one element why this series becomes boring to fiction buffs like me. But this format could greatly appeal to those who loves watching documentaries and news magazines.

Generation Kill is executive produced and co-written by David Simon and Ed Burns (The Wire) while Susanna White (Bleak House) and Simon Cellan Jones (The Trial of Tony Blair) join forces to direct this war masterpiece.

Two episodes of Generation Kill premiere back-to-back every Sunday starting 7 June at 9:00 pm on MAX, leading up to the final episode of the mini-series on Sunday, 28 June 2009 at 9:00 pm. Log on to cinemaxasia.com for more play times.

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