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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:

The new thriller from David Mamet - writer/director of HEIST 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

At the end of the film, you see a heftier Val Kilmer with a beard watching the television with a man in London. This was because Kilmer had gained the weight and look he would need for his next film, Alexander in working with Director Oliver Stone again soon after. See more »

Goofs

The shipping container that is supposed to take Laura Newton back to the US is a type used only for land and sea freight. Because of its weight, it would never be used for air transport. 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 The Salton Sea (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Directed well, some good acting, but certainly not flawless Mamet
14 March 2004 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

David Mamet's Spartan had me leaving the theater thinking 'yeah, it was a good movie, some things I didn't understand'. Perhaps that's Mamet's intention- he's one of the reigning rulers of writers who use calculated, cool twists in storytelling- but I felt the moments in the film where I wasn't surprised so much by the turns taken. Not to say Spartan doesn't have some surprises (a few elements, such as a couple of deaths and a revelation or two which I won't put down here), and as a visual storyteller I got involved in the tension building with Val Kilmer's situation.

Kilmer, playing both mentor to training rangers and "worker-bee" to the United States government's special op's, is put on the case of the kidnapping of the President's daughter. It needs to be solved before the media grabs it, but it may not be that easy. Kilmer's Scott is a little more distant in tone and style sometimes, thinking of things to say to people that could border on a hack's cliche, yet Mamet isn't unforgivable in all the dialog. What dissapointed me were some of his choices in shots - he's not always as subtle as you might've thought in his cut-aways and use of music. While this is different territory in subject matter (dealing with a thriller on a political, topical scale), some of the tricks Mamet was pulling seemed stagey, and more predictable than he's known for.

Should people rush to theatres to see Spartan? Depends- for fans of Kilmer there's a lingering aura of understatement, concern, of a character who has been following rules his whole life, and it's not that bad. Derek Luke is a formidable supporting presence. Ed O'Neill strikes up some dramatic credit amid his post-Married with Children days. William H. Macy could've deserved a little more screen time to emphasize his importance to the story. And Kristen Bell is believable as the torn daughter. The script isn't rapid fire Mamet in delivery and tone, so it is at a pace that will dissapoint those who are looking for non-stop thrills. Maybe my grade is un-fair- the material does seek to be seen again- but I just didn't get that it was top-shelve stuff. B


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