Gunner Palace

Directors Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker gain unprecedented access to American troops in Iraq, and then do one of the most incompetent jobs in editing and presenting a documentary that I’ve ever seen. The fascinating stories and potent personalities of these soldiers are saddled with sappy, overly serious narration by the painfully self-important Michael Tucker, who goes so far as to film himself preparing coffee in his home in the United States while he muses about his great love for these soldiers. Pukingly awful! But the soldiers redeem Tucker’s masturbatory excesses, and the second half of the film is presented without any of the NPR-style narration. It also lacks any narrative thrust, as Tucker and Epperlein didn’t even attempt to edit their work into anything coherent. Still, it’s probably worth seeing for a first-hand look at what our troops are doing way over there.

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