Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Few Good Men (1992)

Synopsis: You want subtlety and good writing? You can’t HANDLE subtlety and good writing!

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore star in Rob Reiner’s unanimously acclaimed drama about the dangerous difference between following orders and following one’s conscience” [Wait – “unanimously acclaimed”? Is Columbia Tristar Home Video seriously suggesting that everyone loves this movie? Give me a fucking break...]

What Did I Learn?: If you think there’s a chance you might suddenly snap under an aggressive cross-examination and admit your guilt, count to ten, practice your collection of friendly smiles and repeat the words: “wasn’t me!”

Really?: 1) So....the defense strategy (in the absence of any usable evidence) is to get a hardened combat veteran to crack on the witness stand and admit his guilt? Hey, that shit happens all the time on Perry Mason! 2) Wait – does Tom Cruise drive drunk? And does he seriously expect Demi to get into his car after he admitted to knocking back nearly an entire bottle of bourbon? 3) Is Cruise’s hair short enough for a Naval officer? And does his character actually know anything about the Navy?

Rating: I hadn’t watched A Few Good Men for a number of years, so I was taken aback by its mediocrity. Written by Aaron Sorkin, the dialogue is hackneyed, and often descends into editorializing – everyone wants to give a speech, it seems. While there are a number of good performance (especially from a snarling Nicholson), it’s dull and utterly predictable for the simple reason that everything is spelled out ahead of time, there are no surprises, and the viewer is never given the opportunity to put any pieces together. 5.5/10 stars.

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