||[Sep. 29th, 2006|10:12 pm]
we've had quite enough of this video review
|||||something on the dog's radio||]|
Directed by Andrew Davis
Admittedly, I'm always a bit hesitant about movies that are starring the military (Annapolis, anyone?). Not that I don't like the military – go, men, go! – but because they become clichéd and canned. The last one I liked was Men of Honor, and the same rules apply: you can tell down to the minute what the story is going to be. I think it was Aristotle, or Gwyenth Paltrow, that once said that there are six storylines in the world. Or Hollywood. Whichever. Subtracting the rather canned storyline, the movie was well done. It's nice to see Ashton Kutcher can actually say a word that isn't "dude"; a pleasant surprise, I will confess, to see him acting. During Cliché # 234 (if you see it, you'll know which one I'm talking about) I wasn't bored.
The writing was well done and rather original. The humour is not what I would consider to be the normal Cake of Choice for Military Movie 101. It was almost clean (don't die of shock there, kids). The writer, Brinkerhoff, portrayed reality in a humorous sense. That is to say that the jokes make fun of life, but not in the painfully embarrassing way (all the time). Pretend that made sense. The Necessary Story of Lurve was downplayed – thank GOD – and not a forefront plot. We know who our lead characters are. And we are only supposed to sympathise with them.
Now for the unhappy parts. It is a long movie, it feels drawn out; they are trying to tell a lot of story, despite the fact you'll find it next to Cream of Mushroom in your local grocery store. The supporting actors were token and static, which was to be expected. The editing was sporadic and inconsistent. It's an attempt to be artistic, and in the Cliché #120, you will find that there is a part of the movie that looks as though it was directly taken out of a commercial to promote the Coast Guard. The soundtrack was lacking. The editors decided to make suspense out of time and minimal music. In this writer's humble opinion, give me some Zimmer-eque suspense music, cut out about 10 minutes of film, and the Canned Goodness would have received a higher rating.
That aside, it is second to Men of Honor in the line of Military Movies.
6.6 out of 10
Personal Note: My uncle is a commercial fisherman up in Alaska (translation: he knows these guys, they saved his ass a couple times) and he went to see it this afternoon. He said that it was good for accuracy, so for anyone concerned, there is the Guest Expert Opinion of the Weekend.