This film has all the gripping drama of a C-SPAN debate: First a Republican politician stands on a podium and rhapsodizes about the integrity of the armed services, how the presence of women would violate it, and why they should stick to cooking and sewing. Then a Democratic politician stands up and explains that women are just as qualified as men to shoot people, get crew cuts and cruise hookers in foreign ports. Or perhaps I'm recalling a debate from the Willis/Moore household.*
In fact, an hour or two of C-SPAN would have been preferable to this contravesty (that's contrived + travesty). Lt. Jordan O'Neill (Demi Moore) is sent to Navy SEAL camp to endure a grueling gauntlet of boot camp clichés and caricatures. While many a hulking male breaks down and starts crying like a baby, Demi survives unscathed, forcing the Navy to come up with more creative ways to get her to quit, like doing one-armed pushups without having her boobs get in the way and peeing standing up.
Of course, this doesn't happen, leaving commanding officer John Urgayle (Viggo Mortensen), Senator Lillian DeHaven (Anne Bancroft), her boyfriend (Jason Beghe) and everyone she trains with ample time to make exhaustive speeches about women's role in the military.
Optimists tend to note that -- despite the fact that both the movie's premise and star are old news -- there is hope in the fact that the movie is directed by Ridley Scott. After all, they argue, we're talking about the man who directed "Alien" and "Blade Runner." To that, I have but two words: "White Squall." Case closed.
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