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this movie stinks !
although it is professionally crafted and there are some decent performances , the plot is so bad it drags the film into the abyss .
i knew i was in for trouble when , during the opening establishment shots , we see a detailed close-up of warrant officer paul brenner's ( john travolta ) military identification card and it is the wrong color .
this might seem like a minor detail , but anyone who has spent anytime with the military knows that active duty identification cards are green and dependant cards are yellow .
and what about the senior military officer whose uniform shirt is so wrinkled he looks like he is a recruit on his first day of training .
or what about when brenner tells a suspect that , because he is in the military , he doesn't have the right not to answer his questions even though these rights were central to military law well before the miranda decision .
how hard is it to get someone familiar with the military to check these facts ?
now details like this could be overlooked if the underlying story held up , but this story is so full of holes it is painful to sit through .
for example , at the beginning of the film , paul brenner , an undercover army investigator , gets into a gun and knife battle at his off-post houseboat and winds-up killing an arms dealer he had been investigating .
the local police investigating the death are openly hostile to the military and they discover that brenner has been lying to them about the killing .
but instead of arresting him , or at least take him into custody for further questioning , they release him .
duh !
ultimately , brenner gets assigned to investigate the murder and possible rape of the commanding general's daughter , a young captain also assigned to the post .
when brenner finds graphic sex tapes featuring the general's daughter , does he use them to generate a suspect list and begin grilling suspects .
no , his instinct is to suppress them because they might be potentially embarrassing .
eventually , brenner discovers that this murder is related to a violent gang rape at west point eight years earlier .
i won't even go into the totally unbelievable rationale for the army's suppression of this horrendous crime .
i will just mention one final flaw .
brenner is investigating a crime that occurred in georgia .
the rape occurred in west point , which is in new york .
he is under a very tight ( and totally implausible ) 36-hour deadline to solve this case .
he needs to discuss the rape with a psychiatrist at west point .
does he phone the doctor ?
no , he travels ( via some unexplained very fast transport ) to new york to question the psychiatrist in person , and then he returns to georgia ( again by the miracle transport ) , without once worrying about the impact any of this will have on his deadline .
you have been warned , stay away from this one .
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