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.
Following the theft of a postal-order, a fourteen-year old cadet is expelled from Naval College. To save the honour of the boy and his family, the pre-eminent barrister of the day is engaged to take on the might the Admiralty.
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
"Curtis represents the conscience of the hero, because he's so new to this warrior class, he keeps asking the questions that have been eradicated from Scott's conscience", said writer-director David Mamet, who offered Derek Luke the pivotal role after being impressed by his performance in 'Antwone Fisher' (2002). "Curtis makes Scott realize that he has become what he beheld. That in his own quest for personal power, he has put his conscience on hold to serve those whom he's elected to believe. In so doing, he has become just like them". See more »
Starting at 38:15 into the movie, when Scott shoots the officer escorting the prisoners, you can see a car in the background heading towards the scene. In the next scene, when Scott stands in the middle of the road looking for cars, the car is not present. 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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