A reporter in Iraq might just have the story of a lifetime when he meets Lyn Cassady, a guy who claims to be a former member of the U.S. Army's New Earth Army, a unit that employs paranormal powers in their missions.
A reporter, trying to lose himself in the romance of war after his marriage fails, gets more than he bargains for when he meets a special forces agent who reveals the existence of a secret, psychic military unit whose goal is to end war as we know it. The founder of the unit has gone missing and the trail leads to another psychic soldier who has distorted the mission to serve his own ends. Written by
Jeff Bridges' character Bill Django is based on Army Lt. Colonel Jim Channon, who wrote the First Earth Battalion field manual. In the mid-1970s, Channon took a leave of absence (with pay) from the Army to go on a fact-finding tour of the New Age Movement, before coming back and writing the First Earth Battalion manual. The movie combines two or three separate programs: the Army's Remote Viewing program (run by the Army's Intelligence and Security Command), the "Jedi" program run by the Special Forces, and Jim Channon's First Earth Battalion (which was a concept and a field manual rather than an operational unit). See more »
After they escape captivity, Lyn and Bob chase down Mahmud in the pickup truck. In shots from inside the truck, Mahmud is running in the middle of the road, only veering off at the last moment. All other shots show him running on the side of the road. See more »
Well, I must say that I was looking forward to this movie - after reading the cast list and hearing a brief overview of the plot I felt that it had good potential. And whoever made the trailer did a very good job of making me want to see it.
Unfortunately, there seemed to me to be a certain amount of confusion about the film - were the directors entirely sure what type of film they were making? There are elements of comedy, satire, drama, action... but without having enough of each of these things to really give the movie a proper feel or direction. It veers close to being funny... and then veers off. It comes close to satirising American military tactics... and then goes off in another direction. I felt that a little more focus was needed overall to bring the film together.
In terms of acting, I think that generally the actors can be pleased with their work - I don't remember any specific cases of over or underacting, and the characters were about as believable as they could be in a film like this. As far as the comedy goes - this film was primarily marketed as a comedy - there are some genuinely funny moments! Overall, however, I felt that some bits needed to be trimmed down - the constant Jedi references were funny the first time but quickly wear thin.
The plot also needed a little bit of work: it started off with a promising storyline, and good editing I might add, but seemed to lose its way towards the end. It seemed as if the film-makers didn't really know where to go next. There were a few scenes that really didn't need to be included either - Robert Patrick's contribution to the film really added nothing, and could easily be removed. It was entirely forgettable and was simply a device to get the characters to the next place that they needed to be.
Overall I'd say this this is a fairly good film, certainly worth seeing. As for buying the DVD, that I'm not so sure about. If you're looking for a way to spend and hour and a half of your evening, while there are better films to see than this there are also considerably worse ones.
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