Basic (Bilingual) [Import]
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Academy Award(r) nominees John Travolta (Best Actor in a Leading Role, Pulp Fiction, 1994) and SamuelL. Jackson (Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Pulp Fiction, 1994) team up with action director John McTiernan (Die Hard, The Hunt for Red October, Predator) in a white-knuckle "thrill ride with a twist you won't believe!" (MairiAnna Bachynsky, ATV/CTV ENTERTAINMENT) Also starring Connie Nielsen (TheHunted, Gladiator), Giovanni Ribisi (Gone in Sixty Seconds), Brian Van Holt (Black Hawk Down), TayeDiggs (Chicago) and Roselyn Sanchez (Rush Hour 2). A DEA officer (Travolta) is recruited to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a famed U.S. Army drill instructor (Jackson) and a group of cadets on a routine military exercise in the jungles of Panama. But the journey to uncover the truth leads to some dangerous and unexpected places when two rescued survivors tell dramatically different versions of what transpired. "Totally mesmerizing." (Lisa Petrillo, WFOR/CBS (Miami)/EXTRA)
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Top Customer Reviews
However, weighing everything, this is a good film worth it's money.
This is one of those films that are difficult to discuss without spoiling the plot. Suffice it to say that I found the production values first rate, and the sound and action sequences generally well done. I don't mind Travolta, like Connie Nielsen, and wasn't too put off by a fairly cliched performance by Samuel Jackson as the (usual) hard-bitten Sergeant.
However, the movie cannot stand up to close analysis of the plot and its various devices. Sins against the viewer are committed by the screenwiter and director--the principle one being that characters who are shown to have certain knowledge at the end do not act consistently with that knowledge throughout.
That's all I'm going to say except that having the DVD will enable you to replay some of the scenes sufficiently to see the extent to which the viewer has been manipulated. There is honest and clever manipulation that always takes place in good thrillers, but this movie, while clever in spots, isn't very honest.
Travolta reached his peak when he took top billing in "Saturday Night Fever", doing a great job of portraying a Brooklyn kid who is coming of age during the 70's disco era. But, outside of "Pulp Fiction" it's been all downhill after that, with a string of failures like "Stayin' Alive", "Broken Arrow", "Battlefield Earth", "Swordfish", and lest we forget, "Look Who's Talking II".
In "The Thin Red Line" Travolta played a U.S. Army General officer by method acting, evidently by imitating a talking plant. This (...) effort no doubt greatly contributed to the failure of that film to garner any sort of approval by veiwing audiences.
"Basic" is another such failure. Casting Travolta in a roles like the DEA agent he plays in this film is like a kiss of death for the entire project. For one thing, the idea that his character is a former Army Ranger is a hoot. Casting somebody like Pauly Shore or maybe even Martin Short as a a former Army Ranger would be more believable.
Very predictably, Travolta manages to stink up the whole story, which isn't all that great to begin with. Yet, with an extremely limited acting range, Travolta continues to crank out box office bomb after bomb after bomb.
Oh well... That's Hollywood politics. After all, no one ever went broke underestimating the sophistication of the American public...
Most recent customer reviews
This film is interesting and suspenseful the entire way through. Both clever and well written it tells the story of a military training mission gone wrong from the perspective of... Read morePublished on June 14 2004 by V. Marshall
Basic is a movie about a supposed training accident involving marines and a hated sargeant played by Samuel L Jackson. Read morePublished on June 11 2004 by M. Buisman
This is by far Travolta's best movie since "Face-off". Basic is almost impossible to predic, that's what I love about this moive, not many thrillers can do that anymore. Read morePublished on May 15 2004 by E -Man
This has got to be the best Travolta film out there today, the cast is plentyful and the dark tense action thriller is worth the watch. Read morePublished on April 22 2004 by Hadi Jones
Travolta and Jackson cannot save this film with their professional acting skills that are wasted in an abhorrant pile of celluloid. Read morePublished on April 19 2004 by SK
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