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Polished drama from Reiner.,
This review is from: A Few Good Men [DVD] (DVD)
Young upcoming Navy lawyer Daniel Kaffee is assigned to defend two Marines who are accused of murder. On first glance it seems to be a clear cut case of bullying gone wrong, but with Kaffee's colleague, Commander Joanne Galloway, convinced that more shady dealings are afoot at the Cuban army base run by Colonel Nathan Jessep, the case could have far reaching consequences for all involved.
Directed by Rob Reiner and adapted from a hit Broadway play written by Aaron Sorkin, A Few Good Men is a quality drama boasting some of the 90s major A list stars. That it never quite reaches masterpiece status is purely down to the predictability of it all, from Kaffee's father inherent peer pressure, to Galloway's tough woman in power softening as each quarter roles on, we really do know what the film's outcome will be. However, it has to be said that it's one hell of a well written ride getting to the wonderful court room finale, military rules and codes are stripped bare by Sorkin and Reiner threads it all together perfectly to raise the bar in court room practices.
The cast are uniformly good, Jack Nicholson as Jessep gets to eat babies and burn people at the stake, not literally you understand! But his ferocity is marvellous and it's this barnstorming turn from Jolly Jack that brings out the best of Tom Cruise as Kaffee. Cruise of course can play the cocky upstart better than most, but as we enter the final quarter here he puts a smart layer into the role, especially in light of Nicholson's scene chewing bravado. Demi Moore is solid and very watchable as Galloway, it's not her fault that the character is written as a tough nut who weakens the longer the picture goes on, it's still only a minor complaint in what is a very accomplished piece of cinema. Support is excellently good value courtesy of Kevin Pollak, Kevin Bacon, J.T. Walsh and a deliciously grumpy turn from Kiefer Sutherland, while the editing and sound departments were rightly nominated for Academy awards.
Good value entertainment across the board 8.5/10