Sunday, November 13, 2011

Heartbreak Ridge

For Veteran's Day I did manage to find a Granada film to watch - Heartbreak Ridge.  Clint Eastwood plays a surly, troubled Marine Corp gunnery sergeant who, when he's not picking fights, finds himself in jail on drunk and disorderly charges.  Mario van Peebles co-stars as a terrible actor pretending to be a flamboyant marine who moonlights as a horrible singer/guitarist who thinks he's going to be a rock star.  Truly one of the worst performances I've seen outside of a B movie.  I had to fight the urge to shut the movie off every time he referred to himself as, "the ayatollah of rock & rolla" which he did several times.  Clint is a certified bad ass - a congressional medal of honor winner for his service in Korea - and is assigned to whip a platoon of cocky, entitled, insubordinate marines into fighting shape. 

The portrayal of the force recon marines - the marine corp special forces - was one of the most unrealistic things I've seen in a film.  They were completely undisciplined, spending more time goofing off and trying to act like macho tough guys than doing any actual training.  They are insubordinate, repeatedly ignoring direct orders and telling their commanding officer 'you can't tell me what to do'.  One of them even picks a fight with Clint (and loses badly).  If any soldiers really acted like this, I'm sure they would be dishonorably discharged.  It's an insult to anyone who has ever served in the military.  Some people have suggested that it is a satire of gung-ho war movies but I really didn't get that impression.  Any satire present was completely unintentional and I think calling it a satire is making an excuse for a poor movie.

This movie was a failure on nearly every level and I couldn't find anything to like about it.  It fails as a war movie with an hour and a half buildup for a 10 minute battle which was hugely anticlimactic.  The superior officers are a bad cliche - incompetent dim wits who hold a grudge against Clint and are constantly setting him up to fail.  If you're looking for some insight into the Granada conflict, you're better off reading the Wikipedia entry since this doesn't tell you anything about what led up to the invasion, what happened during combat, or the aftermath.  It may as well have been a fictional conflict.  There is no character development and no depth to any of the characters.  The dialogue is laughable.  The plot is eye rolling.  The only thing I can imagine that anyone might enjoy is if you're looking for a movie where Clint is a tough guy who beats people up and thumbs his nose at authority, and you don't care about anything else, then this might be the movie for you.  Otherwise you're better of staying away.

Just watching this trailer again makes me cringe.
Post a Comment