In the US-government's special ops, Scott is a shooter, not a planner, doing the job without regard to quaint or obsolete convention. When a Harvard undergrad goes missing (the daughter of a US leader), it's Scott who applies the pressure, first to her boyfriend, then to a madam whose cathouse is the initial stop en route to a white slavery auction in Dubai. The abductors may not know the girl's identity, but once they figure it out, she's doomed. Deadly double crosses force Scott to become a planner. Through it all, earnest TV newscasters read the drivel they're handed.Written by
The movie's cast was indoctrinated to the rigors of high-level military operations when writer-director David Mamet asked former Delta Force operative and military / technical advisor to the production Eric L. Haney to take the group on an overnight excursion in the California desert. "The camping trip was Dave's idea of Camp Misery, but I called it Camp Fun", Haney explained. "I made sure everybody was cold. There were no sleeping bags, no tents, no comfort items, just a poncho liner to roll up in and a poncho to keep off the rain. We dug shelters in the ground and built a small fire and for food it was MREs [meals ready to eat or standard military rations]". See more »
The gun used by Curtis to give Scott sniper cover at the seaside cabin is a Heckler & Koch MP-5. A submachine-gun meant for close-quarter combat. It is neither designed for, nor is ever used as, a sniper rifle. Its ammunition wouldn't even fly straight if shot through a window. See more »
You had your whole life to prepare for this moment. Why aren't you ready?
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Excellent and intelligent. Not for Bruckheimer fans.
If you go by the plot, or by the casting (Val Kilmer's done his share of stupid actioners), you might well go into this expecting guns, explosions, and improbably ninja-esquire super-agents who parachute around and kill things with their teeth.
But this is Mamet, so what you get instead is a sort of weird emotional flatland for almost two hours of film, with Kilmer doing an excellent (Val KILMER? Whoa!) job of portraying what top-level soldier/drones are like: emotionally neutral, physically economical, and not always all that bright.
If you're looking for somebody hoisting a bazooka and wisecracking before he blows up the compound and saves the girl in the bikini while smashing the drug smuggling ring, this ain't your film, friend. It's very well written and extremely well acted, but also quiet, murky, and deliberately understated.
Don't expect whiz-bang excitement or crackerjack dialogue. If you can shelve that and put yourself in the frame of mind of a Kurosawa samurai movie, where contemplation and futility take equal time with action and excitement, you'll find this movie a lot more rewarding.
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