In the early stage of the 2003 Iraq War, Rolling Stone reporter Evan Wright (Lee Tergesen) embeds with a battalion of Marines as they move closer to Baghdad. The Wire writers David Simon and Ed Burns employed the same kind of realistic approach in their portrait of Marines in Iraq, struggling with combat, boredom, human rights challenges, commanding officers competing with each other, and disorganization. Tough but engaging, even if spending seven hours with these testosterone-pumped men and their never-ending bullshitting try one’s patience, especially as no character stands out. Still, technically dazzling, and well-acted.
2008-U.S. Made for TV. 470 min. Color. Produced by Andrea Calderwood. Directed by Susanna White, Simon Cellan Jones. Teleplay: David Simon, Ed Burns. Book: Evan Wright. Cast: Alexander Skarsgård (Brad ”Iceman” Colbert), James Ransone (Josh Ray Person), Lee Tergesen (Evan Wright), Jon Huertas, Stark Sands, Billy Lush.
Trivia: Originally shown in seven episodes.
Last word: “‘Generation Kill’ was the most challenging [of my series]. We were intent on depicting, for better or worse, what really happened to the First Recon Battalion all the way into Baghdad. We couldn’t leaven it or move away from bad decisions or when someone operated in a less-than-admirable way. We couldn’t shape the show with more drama. It imposed incredible limitations in terms of story.” (Simon, Los Angeles Times)