Excessive, tongue-in-cheek action has no place in a World War II film. And Woo simply seems lost in all the emotional claptrap, war movie cliches, cornball dialog and mumbo jumbo about bravery and patriotism. He does fill the film with enormous, lyrical explosions and brutal, incessant gun battles. But the story's melodrama gets lost in between. A strange side plot involving a nurse (O'Connor) seems pasted in to add the only female touch, as do all the fellow soldiers. At least they have the basic personalities, even if they're stock war movie figures. All of this adds up to a fairly well-made yet utterly uninvolving trudge, trivialising a genuinely gripping moment in history. Did someone say Pearl Harbor? And as it progresses you get the nagging feeling that it's basically just a Nicolas Cage vanity project gone horribly wrong.
dir John Woo|
scr John Rice, Joe Batteer
with Nicolas Cage, Adam Beach, Christian Slater, Roger Willie, Peter Stormare, Mark Ruffalo, Noah Emmerich, Frances O'Connor, Jason Isaacs, Brian Van Holt, Martin Henderson, William Morts
release US 14.Jun.02; UK 30.Aug.02
Peer pressure. Ben (Beach) faces up to racism in the ranks
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