A fateful event leads to a job in the film business for top mixed-martial arts instructor Mike Terry. Though he refuses to participate in prize bouts, circumstances conspire to force him to consider entering such a competition.
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 »
When the red pickup pulls into the parking lot, we cut to a shot through the windshield of the driver getting out. The fuzzy dice hanging from the mirror have already stopped swinging and are hanging motionless. See more »
You had your whole life to prepare for this moment. Why aren't you ready?
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As close as movies come to the world of spooks and special ops . . .
I've been a fan of David Mamet since The Untouchables, and a half a dozen films since, including Glengarry Glen Ross and Ronin. His writing is so exacting - it's surgical. And among the best in the Industry. It seems no writer in film exemplifies the dominant (lone) male psyche better than he does - he is one of my favorite writers. I say lone because most of the leads in his films are either solo, or if married you don't know it. Even in The Winslow Boy, which was a period piece. In his films, the Dialog is definitely the star. Realizing that is key to enjoying his films.
As a Deep Sea Diver in the U.S. Navy for many years, who spent time with the Special Boat Unit and 5 years with EOD (the bomb squad), I can tell you that he speaks the language of the military elite, and the military at large - better than anyone. In his film Spartan, we have the perfect marriage of the nuances subtleties and atmosphere of the shadowy world where special ops are used as federal assets for unofficial or non military missions. I believe Spartan is as close to capturing this as movie making ever comes.
Val Kilmer is a much better actor than many of his more famous contemporaries, and is probably the performer they wished they were. Though he's never really gained the notoriety or superstar status. I think most guys would agree that his Doc Holliday in Tombstone was the best ever, with due applause to Dennis Quaid's. Here he plays a Marine Gunny (a Master Gunnery Sergeant here) assigned to special ops (probably after Recon) and was the perfect fit for both this film and Mamet's script, which combined with his talent - was one of his best. Tom Clancy is the only other modern writer of this caliber that captures the military mindset and does it so well, but in a different way. Though the title probably refers to the Spartan ideology of one well trained man being better than a hundred who are not, there is a picture here offered of the very Spartan lifestyle lived by so many in the military of any nation and is well represented. A great film! I couldn't recommend it more.