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When a legendary commander and several of his men turn up missing, the last thing the government wants is a rogue DEA agent investigating the disappearance. As the investigation unfolds, the agent is placed in direct conflict with the Army's official investigating officer and nothing is as it seems.
Suspense Thriller - It's mainly an investigative drama with scenes of military persons
in the jungle shooting each other. There are several of these
intense and bloody scenes, but then it goes back to the
investigation for a lengthy period. Travolta is great as the main
investigator with his funny wise cracks and attitude. As you will
see in the detailed content, this is a very strong movie content
PROFANITY: 47 F-words, 21 S-words, 7 A-words, 9 GD's. Many others. SEX/NUDITY: No sexual activity. Some barely covered breasts and cleavage. VIOLENCE: Very violent and very bloody in a few scenes only. DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Some drinking of hard liquor and some dope smoking. ACTION: There are sporatic scenes of short, intense, shooting. COMEDY: Travolta's character adds quite a bit of humor for an otherwise intense movie.
The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.
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Review Poor "Basic is another depressingly empty action thriller
built, as is the prevailing trend, from an inconsequential progression of
deceptions and Rashomonic conflicting narratives.''
James Berardinelli, Internet Critic
Review Average "For those who don't pay attention, and who enjoy
preposterous thriller-like plot twists and lots of scenes filmed in the rain, Basic
will hit the spot. Everyone else will find this movie to be basically tiresome
and utterly forgettable.''
Review Poor "This movie gives no indication even at the end that we have
finally gotten to the bottom of things. There is a feeling that "Basic
II" could carry right on, undoing the final shots, bring a few characters
back to life and sending the whole crowd off on another tango of gratuitous
Review Average "Possibly because they sense this, writer James Vanderbilt
and director John McTiernan tack on an especially twisted ending after we think
we have too easily figured out where the movie is going. This kicker is not
moldy, but it does feel cheap and contrived.''
Note: The rating
above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.
OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
Opinions will be collected opening weekend and will usually be worked up and online by Monday or Tuesday following a Friday opening. We are sometimes able to put on a Saturday Morning Update, so if you get a chance to check the site Saturday you may be able to see how the opinions came in Friday night. Go to Movies at Theaters and check the "What's Worth Watching" section.
Cinema Review Prediction: (before moviegoer opinions are collected)
Travolta makes this movie. Without his wisecracking, don't care attitude it would be just an interesting "who-dun-it." He makes it fun and entertaining, even though it gets quite intense and bloody at times. I believe most will be pleased with Basic. It's got a wide range of things going on to keep it interesting. It may not be a great movie like Men of Honor or Antwone Fisher, but very few movies are. What it is, is funny, interesting and entertaining and I believe worth seeing.
Travolta stars as Tom Hardy, an ex-Army Ranger turned DEA agent, who is drawn
into an ever-widening mystery surrounding the disappearance of the feared and
often hated Sgt. Nathan West (Jackson), as well as several of his elite Special
Forces trainees on what appears, at first, to have been a routine military
exercise during a hurricane in the jungles of Panama.
Only two survivors are found, Dunbar (Brian Van Holt), and a badly wounded
Kendall (Giovanni Ribisi), the son of a high-profile Joint Chiefs of Staff
official. Neither is willing to cooperate with the head of Fort Clayton's
military police, Capt. Julia Osborne (Connie Nielsen). So base commander Col.
Billy Styles (Tim Daly) calls in ex-ranger Hardy, an old friend and a persuasive
Osborne disapproves of Hardy who is on leave from the D.E.A. after having
come under suspicion of accepting bribes from local drug traffickers. She is
also uneasy when she learns that Hardy once trained under West and hates him
almost as passionately as his current recruits.
With time running out, Hardy and Osborne call a temporary, if uneasy, truce.
Hardy cajoles a confession out of Dunbar, who claims that Sgt. West and the
missing Rangers have been murdered and their bodies blown away by the hurricane.
When they later interview Kendall, he confirms that the other rangers and
West are dead. But, in almost every other way, his story contradicts Dunbar's.
What happened to West and his Ranger team? And what were they really doing
out there in the jungle?
As the story unfolds, each layer reveals more lies and greater deceptions,
until Hardy and Osborne inch towards the horrible truth about the fate of the