Volume 96, Issue 97
Wednesday, April 2, 2003

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MOVIE REVIEW: Basic

Travolta's acting pretty Basic

Basic
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Connie Nielsen, John Travolta
Directed by: John McTiernan



By Rana Issa
Gazette Staff

Gazette file photo
 

Some films intrigue an audience. Some leave their viewers laughing. Others leave a person in complete and utter confusion.

There is no real use in explaining or painting a colourful picture of what the film Basic is about, because there are just too many twists and turns to keep track of.

The film revolves around the disappearance of four army rangers during a training exhibition. Two of the rangers make it back alive – one injured and one not talking. A formal investigation begins and Special Agent Tom Hardy (John Travolta) is called in to help distressed Lieutenant Julie Osborne (Connie Nielsen) crack the case.

Nielsen (One Hour Photo) gives an impressive, yet subtle performance as Osborne and her chemistry with Travolta is apparent throughout the film.

However, this chemistry is not enough to save Travolta's performance. He gives his regular blend of Hollywood acting which contains no actual substance and displays no real talent.

Samuel L. Jackson's (A Time to Kill, Pulp Fiction) character is portrayed through flashbacks in the majority of the film. Jackson plays a small, yet vital role in Basic but his performance is nothing less than the old bad-ass he usually plays.

Basic also features stand-out performances by Giovanni Ribisi (Friends, Saving Private Ryan), Harry Connick Jr. (Hope Floats) and Taye Diggs (Chicago).

Basic features some quite gory images and is not recommended for the faint of heart. It does however, possess amazing camera shots and scenery and the script is definitely up to par.

Ultimately, the film is a thrill-ride that showcases many seemingly never-ending twists and turns that will keep its audience guessing, thinking and glued to their seats.

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2002 THE GAZETTE