Men of Honor

Bomb Rating: 

I'm not at all clear why this film is called "Men of Honor." That would certainly imply that there's more than one honorable person in this film, but as far as I can tell, there's only one, and that's Carl Brashear (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), who's the first African American to be accepted into the Navy's Elite Diving Program around 1950 or so.

However, because the title says "Men," I assume the other man of honor is Master Chief Billy Sunday (Robert De Niro), who's the diving trainer and resident Chief Bigot. Of course, everybody in the Navy is a bigot, but Sunday is just better at it than everybody else -- except maybe the Commander (Hal Holbrook), who refuses to allow Brashear to pass the course even though Brashear is the best diver anybody has ever seen. For his efforts, Brashear endures more torture than any sane man should.

Okay, maybe Sunday does pass him and suffer some consequences, but he really pisses his life away after that (until the predictable end, of course). Sunday is married to Charlize Theron, who seems to have a contract to appear in every major release this month. Was the casting director drunk or just screwing his 15-year-old PA and figured the age difference between De Niro and Theron didn't seem all that unbelievable? Adding to the unreality is the fact that after 20 years supposedly pass by, Theron and De Niro actually look younger.

Naturally, this entire adventure (which is apparently based on Breshears real-life story) is punctuated with so many cathartic moments that Oprah would have fled the theater. Incidentally, every scene is accompanied by feeling-appropriate music. Just once, I'd like to see puppies drowning to Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water."

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