New York City police detective John Shaft (nephew of the original 1970s detective) goes on a personal mission to make sure the son of a real estate tycoon is brought to justice after a racially-motivated murder.
Samuel L. Jackson,
Hayes Hodges finds his career aspirations dashed when he's wounded in Vietnam combat. He then returns to America and becomes a disillusioned lawyer who goes up against the service to defend Colonel Terry Childers, who is accused of inciting an incident that leaves many demonstrators dead. Hodges in no position to decline: Childers heroically saved his life back in Vietnam. Written by
The U.S.S. Wake Island LHA-7 is fictional, and not an actual U.S. Navy ship. The ship seen in the movie is actually the U.S.S. Tarawa LHA-1. See more »
National Security Adviser Bill Sokal is worried about political pressure from other countries about the internationally publicized "slaughter of innocent civilians in Yemen", so he hides the one piece of evidence that would exonerate COL Childers. A video tape of the crowd initiating contact with the Marines. Sokal does this as a means of "throwing Childers under the bus".
The problem with that, is that not only would that tape reveal that COL Childers was innocent and performed his duty admirably, but it would remove all political pressure from the US. Thus, removing the reason why Sokal hid the tape in the first place.
Couple that with the evidence presented in the courts martial that proved COL Childers innocent, and it would have been painfully obvious that COL Childers performed his duties honorably and, therefore, would have been returned to active duty.
In short, Sokal helped propagate the very problem he was trying to solve. Political pressure against the US, that would cause embassies to removed around the world. See more »
Colonel Hayes Hodges:
[final arguments of the defense]
Colonel Hayes Hodges:
[presenting a photo of the embassy to juries]
That is sovereign United States territory as much as if it were in Ohio or Maryland. Colonel Childers didn't volunteer to go over there, he was ordered to go over there because he was the best man for the job. We armed him, we trained him, we sent him over there to risk his life to save other Americans and then ask him not to return fire? There are over three hundred bullet holes in this building. Colonel Childers ...
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What a mess. Sleepwalking performances by two otherwise very fine actors (Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson), impossible plot holes, the use of every military and courtroom cliche imaginable, an awful script, and a continual need to suspend the viewer's disbelief. It's hard to believe such a good cast (including Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, Bruce Greenwood, Ann Archer) give performances that are either sad or so brief you wonder if they left much of this film on the cutting room floor. Not that it would have mattered--very little could have saved this disaster.
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