Tom Hardy, an ex-Army Ranger turned DEA agent, is drawn into an ever-widening mystery surrounding the disappearance of the feared and often hated Sgt. Nathan West, as well as several of his elite Special Forces trainees on what appears, at first, to have been a routine training exercise during a hurricane in the jungles of Panama. Only two survivors are found, Dunbar, and a badly wounded Kendall, the son of a high-profile Joint Chiefs of Staff official. Neither is willing to cooperate with Capt. Julia Osborne's investigation. So base commander Col. Bill Styles calls in ex-Ranger Hardy, an old friend and a persuasive interrogator. 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 ... Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The reason John McTiernan didn't make another movie, for more than thirteen years, since Basic (2003), was because of numerous legal troubles, criminal charges, a felony conviction, and ultimately, his incarceration in Federal Prison Camp, Yankton until February 25, 2014. McTiernan served the remainder of his twelve-month prison sentence under house arrest at his ranch house in Wyoming, until April 4, 2014. See more »
Dunbar's note during the opening sequence has "-body" misspelled twice as "-boy". See more »
The French tried to build a canal here before the Americans. At the height of their effort, 500 workers were dyin' a week from malaria and yellow fever. They couldn't come up with cemetary space fast enough. Not to mention the morale problem all those crosses would have made. So they bought shiploads of vinegar in Cuba, and in each barrel, they sealed one corpse, and then they sold them as medical cadavers all over Europe. And for a while, that was their principal source...
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Not the best movie in the genre, but it could have been a lot worse
Even though I had some doubts about this movie before watching it, I definitely wanted to give it a try. There were several reasons for that. One of those reasons is because Samuel L. Jackson plays an important role in it. That man on his own is already reason enough to watch a movie, but I also knew that it was directed by John McTiernan, who also made "The Hunt for Red October", "The 13th Warrior" and "Die Hard: With a Vengeance". Three movies that I've seen and liked very much. The only one that didn't really do it for me was "The Thomas Crown Affair", but with an average of three out of four, I could only hope for the best with this movie.
"Basic" starts with showing us how army sergeant West takes six of his special troops on a training mission into the Colombian rain forest, from which only two return alive. When the rescue mission arrives, they see one soldier killing another and carrying a wounded comrade. As soon as they are back on the base, the interrogation of Dunbar - one of the two survivors - starts. But he refuses to talk to anyone else than another Ranger who he doesn't know yet. That's where former Ranger and current DEA agent Hardy comes in. He is able to get a confession out of Dunbar, but as he digs deeper, he only finds more and more prove of contradictions and illegal practices...
This is one of those movies that you have to watch when you can keep your mind to it from the beginning until the end. If you think that you'll need to take a break in between, you better don't even start watching it because the entire story is so confusing and so many plot twists make it almost impossible to watch it, unless you can keep focused. But don't think that this means that this movie isn't any good. It's especially thanks to the many twists that I kept watching, because the interrogation scenes and the 'action scenes' on the base didn't always do it for me. What I also liked about this movie was Samuel L. Jackson's performance. He was really nice as the tough sergeant West. You could see that the man enjoyed playing this role. John Travolta wasn't bad either, but I've already seen him play better roles.
Overall this isn't a bad movie. Thanks to the mysterious story and the many twists it is hard to keep track, but when you are able to do so, you'll have fun watching it. Still, not everything about this movie was that strong and that's why I give this movie a 6.5/10. It isn't the best movie in the genre, but could have been a lot worse than this.
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