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Spartan (2004)

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The investigation into a kidnapping of the daughter of a high-ranking US government official.

Director:

David Mamet

Writer:

David Mamet

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tia Texada ... Jackie Black
Derek Luke ... Curtis
Val Kilmer ... Scott
Jeremie Campbell ... Cadre Candidate
Bob Jennings ... Grace's Aide
Lionel Mark Smith Lionel Mark Smith ... Colonel Blane
Johnny Messner ... Grace
Chris LaCentra ... Cpl. Sattler (as Chris J. Lacentra)
Renato Magno Renato Magno ... Grossler
Mark FitzGerald Mark FitzGerald ... Training Facility Guard
Tony Mamet Tony Mamet ... Parker
Clark Gregg ... Miller
Ron Butler ... Headquarters Agent
Steven Culp ... Gaines (as Stephen Culp)
Vincent Guastaferro ... Naylor
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She's missing. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English | Russian | Swedish

Release Date:

12 March 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Halastamatu See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,250,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,011,435, 14 March 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$4,434,432, 22 April 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"I cast [William H.] Macy 'cause he's owed me [US] $2,700 since 1970", writer-director David Mamet once joked. "I keep thinking if I employ him, as I've been fortunate enough to do for thirty years, that maybe he'll come to his senses and pay me back". See more »

Goofs

When Jackie shows the head of Interpol a police sketch, it is of a man in a hat. When the commander holds up the sketch it is of a bare-headed man. The two sketches alternate during the scene. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Scott: You had your whole life to prepare for this moment. Why aren't you ready?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Bicycle Boy - Camden Munson See more »

Connections

References Tokyo Drifter (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly bad movie from David Mamet
18 October 2013 | by MaziunSee all my reviews

I'm a fan of David Mamet's movies (both his and the ones he wrote the screenplay for) . "House of games " is one of the best movies ever made. Mamet's other contributions to cinema are great too (including "The Untouchables " and "Ronin" ). So , I was curious about this one . This time Mamet tries a political action thriller. The result ? Surprise , but a bad one.

Mamet has always been a rather weak director . I admit that . Still , his flat sense of direction worked quite well in his movies , mostly because they were very theatrical from the nature of plot. Hell , I think that's why "House of games" has surrealistic , hypnotizing feel to it. The problem with "Spartan" is this is an action/thriller . All the action scenes here lack tension. They look like they were directed by amateur. The movie also never has any sense of entertainment . There isn't a moment when you feel that time is running out for our heroes.

What is more surprising is the rather bad plot . The story is very predictable and you don't have to be a genius to figure out most of the twists. Worse , some of the twists are rather forced (the sign , the scarecrow sitting on the chair when you need it ) . There is one really good twist at the end of movie , but on the other hand Mamet also throws a rather forced deus ex machina at the end.

The dialogue is also bad , very dour , very forgettable . It's surprising , because Mamet always crafts the dialogues very carefully . He knows how to write a stylish dialogue . Here the dialogues are purely informational.

The acting is good . Val Kilmer gives a really good performance , one of best in his entire career (along with "Tombstone" and "The Heat"). He plays his character just like he should (and could) play Batman all those years ago in "Batman forever" . Silent , brooding , tough and honorable. Kirsten Bell has a small , but good role in the movie . It was good to see Ed O'Neill ("Married with children") in a convincing serious role and William Macy is pleasure as always. Overall , the acting is the best thing in the movie.

I also like the bitter mood of the movie . The story here sadly feels like something that could happen in real life and it makes "Spartan" different than most Hollywood thrillers .

It doesn't change the fact that weak screenplay , bad dialogues and crappy direction make this one a misfire in Mamet's career . I give it 4/10.


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