It wouldn't be fair if I didn't make it clear right now that I am prejudiced when it comes to Demi Moore. Although never doubting her personality, I've always thought of her as a surgically enhanced Hollywood babe with little talent. I haven't seen any of her films since "A Few Good Men," in which she only took on a supporting role. I didn't even WANT to see "Striptease." So here I am, in the theatre, not expecting much, but (there's always a but) I have to say I like this movie.
It's well made in a sense that it gets right to the point (no matter how blurry the message). Right from the start, we are treated to dramatic music and sweeping camera work that declares: "WE HAVE A MESSAGE." The music becomes annoying and, in a way, anti-climatic in a while. I'm a political moron, so I won't even pretend to understand what's going on between the Senator (played by Anne Bancroft) and that military guy in the start of the movie. So, unfortunately, maybe it is because of my ignorance that I didn't quite "get" the "Equal Rights" message in the movie. The movie starts off saying that men and women are equal, but in the end, sadly, G.I. Jane Jordan O'Neill (Moore) wins not because she is equal, if not stronger and more determined than other men, but because she bitches like no other woman does. Seeing Moore deliver the lines "Watch this" and "Suck my dick" is a sheer thrill; and even a Non-Moore- Believer like me is impressed by her willingness to get down and get dirty in this movie. She's obviously worked hard on those muscles and she even shaved her hair, which is something I'd NEVER do, but that's beyond the point. . .The other actors/actresses deliver as well, but PUHLEEZ, no more army generals that look the same in every movie (aka "The Rock," "Independence Day," etc.)
The movie gives itself a nice definition by allowing the day to be perenially dark and gloomy. In the end the movie isn't about being a woman or a man at all, it is about having a dream and chasing after it-- and "G.I. Jane" delivers these messages gloriously. It would have been more satisfying, however, if we were allowed to see more of the military life, or rather, give the "Master Chiefs" and Gis in these movies more dimension than just the standard Male Chauvinist Pig image and the Tough-Ass Commander image. I admit I'm spoiled, so if there isn't a certain degree of that, like in this movie, the process in which the character climbs the ladder to success will not be as moving. Moving, nevertheless, in this movie. We're with Moore there, every second of the way, fighting tooth and nail. When she hurts, we hurt. And when she succeeds, we are genuinely happy. When she goes through the final stages of training, when the male SEALS cheer for her, we feel like jumping out of our chairs. (Or is it just because I'm female?)
I'd say "G.I. Jane" is doing pretty well as a movie that's trying to set new standards. At least I think that's what it's trying to do. Not well enough, but enough for me.
RATING: B (First Viewing, 9/13/97)
*Man, is this the Navy or a torture camp? Or am I just detached from reality. . .As far as I know, I'd NEVER let my son (or daughter, har har) join the Navy (SEALS, for that matter).
*Letter to the Government: If you want your army to be healthy, don't make them eat out of garbage cans.