Boot Camp (2008)
User ReviewsAdd a Review
Most of the horrible acting came from no name actors. Mila Kunis played her role very well, as did Peter Stormare. There was something really cheesy about the whole "captured and taken to an island" idea, but I really think with some better actors it could have been pulled off much better.
The cinematography was excellent, and the soundtrack was just amazing. The island location was a perfect choice and really added a lot to the film.
I still don't know why I enjoyed it so much, but I would say it is worth a rental to see for yourself.
I felt captivated from the first scene, and only became more intrigued as the story line progressed. There were some satisfyingly, unexpected turnouts, and I loved that. However, the ending...I didn't buy it.
Overall, the plot made me think, and I could really feel for the characters. It's shocking to see that camps like this exist, but I feel that this film has definitely raised awareness.
Definitely worth watching. Plus, Mila Kunis is a beautiful woman to watch =)
"Boot Camp" explains in the very beginning that is based on a true event; therefore it seems that it really does exist places like the Serenity Camp in the world. The story does not have the intention to discuss whether these boot camps are necessary or not, but to show a specific place directed by an unprepared man with psychological problems that uses torture techniques as if the end could justify the means. A dictatorship with absolute power associated to playing God always generates injustices and corruption and is doomed to fail. The story is entertaining, but some of the teenagers (and parents) depicted in the movie really deserve to be sent to a correctional facility or to a shrink to resolve their issues. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "A Ilha - Uma Prisão Sem Grades" ("The Island A Prison Without Bars")
Parents who think their children are out of control send them away to camp serenity where they think they are being looked after, little do they know its a torture camp with twisted, manipulated methods to get the kids to change.
This is a great night in flick, I recommend it. Mila Kunis from that 70's show and forgetting sarah marshall is great in this film. You will not be disappointed.
I've finished watching it a few minutes ago and felt like I needed to do a short review on it. First of, don't get fooled by the start, as I've heard people saying they wanted to stop watching after the first 15 minutes, ignore that if you're interested in seeing a good movie based on a true story.
The action of the movie is excellent, perhaps a bit exaggerated but nevertheless close to the truth as it was then. I'm talking about the psychological effect a 'rehabilitation camp' can have on teenagers. In order to really understand the movie you have to look beyond the actors and the location of the movie and think about the situation that's being presented.
All in all an exceptional film that presents what could have happened in a 'tough love camp', the ignorance of some, the joy of others and the desperate need of freedom after such an experience.
The movie is about Sophie (Mila Kunis). After he father's death, she is stressed out in her life. Her parents are worried about her odd and relentless behavior toward her new stepfather, so they send her to boot camp (I would have sent her to a Daddy-Daughter Dance, saves money).
Boot Camp members basically brutally kidnap Sophie and take her to a remote island off of Fiji. Instead of being a training camp like expected, it turns out to be an endless abuse and embarrassment school.
People are locked in holes, thrown in mud, and beat with rods when refuse to do their work or just simply tired. Sophie's boyfriend Ben (Gregory Smith) does bad to get on the island and rescue her. But the strict leader doesn't like that.
In the case of torture porn Horror movies. This one is real. The events in this movie actually occur. Unlike in Saw where a killer with lollipop circles on his face tries to lock you up in traps, this one is actually likable and realistic.
The concept is stunning and meaningful and makes you feel as if you lived the story happening to these characters. Not a movie to watch twice, but definitely a must see kinda movie.
Starring: Mila Kunis and Gregory Smith.
I think if I wanted to know more about these behavior camps, I would watch a documentary instead of a work of fiction. Boot Camp was pretty much what I expected--the kids are treated terribly until the system eventually breaks down and the "mad doctor" is overthrown. It does get you thinking a little bit about what kinds of treatment might be appropriate for out of control teens, but this film won't try to answer that. It is basically another riff on the "absolute power corrupts absolutely" tip. If I had to single out one performance, I thought the girl who played Trina had a truly desperate look about her. Overall, it isn't one I will remember much about.
True exploitation film is a piece of trash morally. The film clearly states that kids should not be forced to be responsible and that any attempt to bring them into line is wrong. While I think the film is correct to challenge the notions of "tough love" camps like this, many of which have done some good, the fact that the cathartic moment comes when the camp is set on fire and people are killed kind of defeats the purpose. Granted the person is the de facto villain of the piece, but it is kind of bankrupt morally. I wouldn't have minded the death and destruction if the filmmakers hadn't taken such a high moral ground.
I also don't like that these are not your average everyday kids, they are rich little twits since who else could afford to send their kids to an island on the other side of the world (this also weakens the filmmakers argument since the camp clearly doesn't represent all camps like this). I know I shouldn't have gotten upset since its only a trash movie but the filmmakers seem to want to do more than exploit their audience, they want to educate, which I don't think the film does. Then again I'm not the audience for this film, which is the age group of the kids sent off to camp itself.
In its favor its well acted and beautiful to look at. Unless you're young enough to be sent to a camp like this I'd take a pass.
But the movie goes a long way with showing what a bunch of mindless sheep humans are. The realty is that you wouldn't be able to run a camp like this without some reporter snooping around either by air or land. I don't give a crap if it's located in Fiji someone would poke around. **spoilers*****spoilers**spoilers**** I also found it a bit stupid that while they are walking in line, they are discussing escape plan while the other clearly can hear them. Not to mention that when the boyfriend end up on the island there is no "pretend to get know" the girlfriend he Gonna rescue, it's more like: hi nice seeing you again. Lets not forget that everyone with half a brain know that if you got a small boat, you cross the waves diagonally not head on. And when they finally escape they take in to a motel, instead of getting as far away as they can. They actually deserved to get caught. They're so stupid they should have stayed on the island. Another thing, you get accesses to garden tool but you don't kill your capturer. There are somewhat 4 guards on what 50 children? Any body told you about strength in numbers?? Let's not forget that when ever someone is in the circle they don't fight back, they just take it.
If it wasn't for the fact that i know Mila uses a body double i might have giving a 2.But it still sucks to much for more than one
Also, it made me aware that such places exist as Cross Creek and Tranquility Bay. Although I can forgive a movie for dramatising something "based on a true story" I was left wanting to find out more and judge for myself.
Anyway, this objectively deserves an 8, I think. It should be more known.
Instead, all "Boot Camp" gives us is a boy-and-girl in love against the "bad guys" and parents who "just don't understand." The characters are very superficial and all the drama is romanticized. The rest is crib-noted from "Lord of the Flies" and not interesting or suspenseful in the least.
If you DON'T think this movie has been manufactured by a bunch of Hollywood-types to pander to teen focus groups, think about the absolute absurdity of a teenage boy flying to Fiji with a pretend Heroin habit just so he can save his snotty and unappealing girlfriend who even HE doesn't appear to like in the first minutes of the film. How many people had that happen to them? Wait, not all at once. Come on...this isn't screen writing folks, it's fill-in-the-blanks MadLibs. It's the same crap they churn out over and over with a "based on true events" spin to try and originalize it.
Aside from the miserable script, the acting is wretched. Mila Kunis once more pulls her lazy "I'll make a sullen face and say something smart-ass and maybe that will pass for emoting" stunt. Peter Stormare could not be more miscast as the "villainous" camp leader...he seems to have escaped from some grade C Bond film knockoff...I know he has that accent but...it's a bit much in this already stereotypical Nazi-esque role. The Tiger Beat lead boy was so boring that I can't be bothered to look up his name.
I just don't like manipulative films. Any film that inserts the now standard MTV-blast of mind-deadening bubble-gum slop along with the ADD sped-up camera montage to introduce a "moment of revelation" (HERE'S WHERE I SAVE MY GIRLFRIEND!) should be required to self-destruct by now. This was old when it first was popularized and beat into the ground with "Romeo + Juliet." Does any director still do this intentionally?
If this is just a popcorn movie...fine. I have nothing against them. Just don't try to pass them off as some relevant social statement.
It's when Ben, Gregory Smith, faked his way into Camp Serenity by posing as a heroin addict that things really started to get out of hand there. With his girlfriend Sophie, Mila Kunis, incarcerated at the camp for treatment for her anti-social behavior Ben decided to crash the place by getting incarcerated there himself. It didn't take long for Dr. Hill to realize Ben's plan but let him and Sophie make their badly planned and almost suicidal escape only to have them again taken into custody by his goons. Dr. Hill then had the two brutally worked over with each spending time in the hole,solitary confinement, for their acts of insubordination.
The main reason for Dr. Hill's fall from grace, with his colleagues in youth rehabilitation, was the sleazy and uncalled for actions of his top honcho at Camp Serenity US Army deserter and, possibly, convicted felon Logan, Tygh Ruyan. Logan despite being very effective in keeping things at Camp Serenity going smooth as silk is also a bit of a sicko when it comes to the many women imprisoned there.
It's Logan's shaking down of young Trina, Regine Nehy, to have sex with him in order to get her a white shirt, making Trina eligible to leave that God forsaken place, that in the end came back to haunt him with a vengeance. It was also Logan's responsibility in the deeply disturbed Danny's, Christopher Jacot, drowning death that just about had Dr. Hill who was covering up for Logan, in his having his way with the women prisoners, to chew him out and almost can him. It was after verbally putting Logan in his place that Dr.Hill put him through the same torture and humiliation that Logan put the teenage prisoners through something leading to their death or suicide.
Having just about enough of Dr. Hill and his tough love tactics his sister ,also a doctor at Camp Serenity, Dr.Ronda Hill, Barbara Gates Wilson, pulled the rug under him. Ronda emptied her terrified brother's gun so he couldn't shoot the rampaging and revolting teenagers as they forcibly took control of Camp Serenity and came crashing into his bunker-like office.
You couldn't really dislike Dr. Hill in that his heart seemed to be in the right place in trying to help those-the teenagers- under his care. Dr. Hill seemed genuinely concerned in helping those young people who even their parents gave up on and discarded like a pet that can't help tearing up the upholstery and be house broken. It was just that Dr. Hill's enormous ego and sense of infallibility got in his way and eventually ended up leading to his sorry and humiliating downfall.
Scant attention is given to why the teens have been brought to the boot camp, and that any possible good could come from an extended stay in a highly disciplined environment. Instead the focus is on the flaws of those in charge. Too many unanswered questions arise in the plot while it weaves its way toward the teens escaping. Was it the teens' moral compass that inspired their desire to escape, or their natural rebellious tendencies taking shape long after their own parents had given up on them? This is never really answered, and makes it difficult for the viewer to feel any empathy toward the main characters.
The ending is the most ridiculous part, where the former teen prisoners regain their freedom. First they burn down the village on the isolated island, which was their only means of shelter. Then they run free around the island, but where are they to go? They are still on an isolated island. It is the final insult to the viewer, who has been insulted through out the movie.
The film sets the scene early and you get straight down to the main plot without too much scene setting. It's a simple plot and doesn't tax the brain which is ideal if you're in the mood for an easy watch however simple films normally rely heavily on either great acting, a great script or plenty of action. Unfortunately this doesn't have any of those things.
The acting is very limited if not just plain bad in places, Mila Kunis does a passable job but the rest of the cast are pretty poor and forgettable. The dialogue is at times laughable and just doesn't ring true. The script is very weak and clichéd and the plot twists are ridiculous.
I wasn't expecting an Oscar winner but I was expecting quite a bit more from this film but it really failed to deliver on nearly every level. In fact this is a film that starts well early but very quickly just gets more and more annoying, tedious and difficult to watch.
This may appeal to young teenagers but for the rest of us this is well worth avoiding.
The idea of the film is actually quite interesting, and it reminded me of another flick about a troubled teen made in 1989 called Lost Angels. The difference between the two movies, however, is that the angry young man in Lost Angels actually learns something about himself and comes to understand how his actions got him into trouble in the first place. In Boot Camp, Mila Kunis stars as a young woman who is actually not a very nice person and learns nothing about herself throughout the story. She starts off being annoying, and stays that way until the very end. The only thing she learns is that you can get raped and killed in youth counseling programs.
She decides to embarrass her father in front of his business associates, and then is seemingly surprised when he gets angry about it. The parents have had enough with her antics and send her to a boot camp overseas. Her boyfriend tries to rescue her by pretending to be a heroin addict, so that his parents will send him to the same boot camp. His plan works and the film slips into a fairly routine "prison escape" flick.
What's so disappointing in Boot Camp is the lost potential it had to show many different sides to the same story. All of the parents are portrayed as cruel cardboard cutouts lacking any ability to empathize with their kids whatsoever. They are shown to be ruthless disciplinarians who just don't understand their children and refuse to try, thus sending them away to boot camp to have them "fixed". The teens have this attitude that they just need to be left alone and that they can take care of themselves. It's all very black and white.
I was hoping for at least some kind of growth to occur with the main character; a moment of awakening or some event to take place that would suggest a level of maturity had been attained. But this was not to be. From the moment she arrives at the boot camp until the final escape when it gets burned to the ground, she's an icy bitch who frowns on another girl with weight issues and treats the staff like garbage. Admittedly it's not a very nice place to be, and in no way am I defending the horrendous abuse that does occur in the film towards some of the youth. Boot Camp just doesn't bother trying to convey any message other than, "Hey kids, it's not your fault that you are messed up. It's your parent's fault. And if they send you to a boot camp, you could get raped or killed."
The most interesting aspect of the story for me was the dynamics between the camp leader and his sister. It really did seem like he cared about the youth and had decent intentions. His plan of "saving" kids through these labor-intensive boot camps with extremely strict rules and consequences is not new and it has been proved to work in real life. He just became too obsessed with "making it work", and his vision flew off the rails after some very poor decisions, such as hiring that psycho ex-Marine to be head of security.
Most of the positive reviews for this flick talk about the evil camp leader and the equally evil parents. If you can watch Boot Camp with this one-sided view of "troubled" teens just being misunderstood and unfairly hassled by authority, than you will probably really enjoy it. You are also probably a teenager feeling the same way. Wait a few more years and watch it again. When you can no longer pump your fist at the end and say "hell yeah" when the camp burns to the ground, that is when you have finally grown up.