Through innovative interrogating, Hardy is told two distinctly different stories, and he must delineate what is the truth and what is fiction. Hardy is paired with Captain Osborne (Nielsen) to uncover the facts through a fog of lies and deceit. As Hardy and Osborne come closer to the truth, we are kept in suspense until a clever and appropriate curveball provides a much surprisingly satisfactory Hollywood twist ending.
John McTiernan, keeping in the tradition of his other successful action films such as Die Hard and Predator, delivers a worthy military action whodunit. The film begins quickly and does not slow its pace at all. The plot twists and turns were effective and the acting was well done overall.
Relative newcomer Brian Van Holt plays Dunbar, one of the Rangers with the intensity of a veteran actor, and he manages to keep up with Travolta during their crucial scenes together. On the other end of the spectrum, Giovanni Ribisi plays the homosexual son of a Joint-Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Kendall with an over the top performance that took some of the integrity away from the film. This was much to my dismay, as I truly appreciated his performance in Saving Private Ryan.
Travolta shows why he makes the big bucks, showing off a noticeably sculpted physique and almost making up for Battlefield Earth (but not quite). He is both believable and likeable in this endeavor, and he addresses the character accordingly. Jackson had the fun job, as the feared and hated drill Sergeant with a reputation for creating the best soldiers. He has the privilege of witty dialogue and his presence is every bit of the bad ass that he typically plays in his films.
My only complaints are the miscasting of Ribisi and the slightly unrealistic ending that seems to be a trademark of suspenseful thrillers. That said, this was an entertaining movie. Truly a thought-provoking story, well written and well executed. The acting was commendable and the story didnít deviate from its purpose too much.
Some may knock the story for being scattered and not portrayed in a typically logical sequence, but the varying perspectives make this movie what it is. Everything is questionable until the very end, and picking up on the slight nuances of dialogue throughout will keep you guessing and contemplating until the final scene.
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