This is a poor man's Full Metal Jacket. Though the idea of concentrating on the time before war, the waiting, the impatience, and the resulting human degradation is an interesting perspective, the film becomes a militaristic Animal House, and the point gets lost in the crazy faux-joviality. Also, we don't know enough about Swoff before he entered the Marines to understand the degree of his character's change. Finally, the characters' central, stated goal is to kill someone - to get that one confirmed kill. But whereas FMJ's Joker is being satirical, these men are seriously obsessed with the prospect, and this goal makes it almost impossible to sympathize. Yes, I understand that distaste for these characters is part of the film's point, but they're not even "interesting-bad." They're just one-dimensionally blood-thirsty.
All this notwithstanding, Peter Sarsgaard turns in another astounding, convincing performance. The best friend from Garden State is always interesting to watch.