In 1981 in L.A., Monica moves in next door to Quincy. They're 11, and both want to play in the NBA, just like Quincy's dad. Their love-hate relationship lasts into high school, with ... See full summary »
Jake Huard, from a shipbuilders family, promised his dying mother he'd make it to Annapolis Naval Academy. Thanks to tenaciously bugging a Congressman he's selected, despite dubious grades. Once inside Jake soon proves sub-standard academically. Constantly challenged to his limits, repeatedly made the 'over-cocky' reason for the entire class to suffer, Jake nearly quits, but after facing his utterly unsupportive father's gloating returns just in time. Stubborn Jake finds support with mates as well as Ali, his lover-to-be, and a discipline he may excel in: the 'brigade' boxing tournament, open to all ranks. Written by
This is better than expected, but that's not saying much....
Going into 'Annapolis, I thought I was going to be put to sleep by 2 hours of Navy promotion and boring clichés that went out of style years ago. I got that, but 'Annapolis' is better than my expectations suggested. That's not to say its a good movie; it's just not terrible.
The reason it is not terrible is a portion of the cast. James Franco manages to overcome his poorly written, formulaic lead with his hard-edged brand of acting. Vicellous Shannon has an effective supporting role as Twins, an overweight black man from Arkansas. His hometown, he explains, is counting on him to survive and pass the year. This is an unexpectedly touching subplot, and I was surprised it worked. Donnie Wahlberg and Chi McBride have good supporting roles, and many of the anonymous students are portrayed convincingly.
Unfortunately, the production is let down by three factors: The script, Tyrese Gibson, and Jordana Brewster. The script is, well, horrific. While its nice to see military students cuss, some of the racist and sexist remarks are extremely out of place. The script is a tireless formula that simply will not go away (and I don't think I need to name said formula). Next offender: Tyrese Gibson. Tyrese is not a bad actor, but the aforementioned terrible script seems to have made him think he needed to imitate R. Lee Ermey. He does this with the subtlety of a jackhammer. Last, but not least, Jordana Brewster. I simply do not believe for one second she is a Navy Midshipman. The romance between her and Franco is laugh-inducing, and completely unrealistic (how many times have I heard military students aren't allowed to fraternize?).
While it's not the disaster I expected, 'Annapolis' still earns my dislike. There's good stuff, but not enough.
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