Thursday, November 22, 2012

Annapolis (2006) Review:

The military world is always portrayed differently than the world most of us live in currently. And it's important that it is done with respect and dignity; to show us non-military personnel what our men and women in the army go through to be the best. This movie, directed by Justin Lin mirrors that well (training wise) but I'm not sure about much else. Lin's direction everywhere else was all over the place and he couldn't seem to make the main character tell us what he truly was trying to become. Plus, writer David Collard has so many unfinished subplots that the audience will feel a very empty feeling by the finale.

Franco & his awkward face
Annapolis is the name of an academy that James Franco's character, Jake Huard wants to join. This is because of a promise he makes to his mother who passed away before he could join. But what's never explained to us is why he's joining. Is he joining to serve his country? Maybe just to prove himself to others that he can be better than where he is now? Or is it to improve his physical strength so he can be a better boxer? We're never given an answer.

Then there's the issue of multiple subplots. Huard has personal problems between him and his father played by Brian Goodman. He also is trying to get into a relationship with a military chick (Jordana Brewster) he originally mistook as a prostitute, who somehow still has the nerve to talk to him after being assumed that. Along with that is Huard's friend, Twins (Vicellous Shannon) who is attempting to overcome his large figure so he can pass a specific test. And together with them is another friend, Loo (Roger Fan) who is a real stickler to the rules. Lastly is the bumping heads between Huard and Cole (Tyrese Gibson).

Most of the film is really focused on this boxing match....
Yes that's a lot of subplots! And guess what? By the end of the film, only two of these subplots are actually completed. The rest are left hanging up in the air to dry. The audience will never know what happened to some specific characters because Mr. Collard didn't seem to find this needed to be written in the script. What? I think I can agree on saying that the audience always loves a well-written story as long as the subplots are finished as well.

What I did appreciate is how the training was displayed. Yes, it is a vigorous and tiring string of exercises and that is shown perfectly here. Brian Tyler's music was well appreciated too even though I did not find it bringing up the tone of the story. And I couldn't stand the negative energy that was being thrusted upon me by Gibson's character. In a sense, it felt like grown-up bullying and it was all directed towards Huard, and everyone suffered for it. Why does this training academy have its nose so high up in the air? My god.

Annapolis does not inspire no matter how hard it tries to. The film has no direction and weakly written script. The music and visual aids of training are the only thing worth seeing.

Points Earned --> 5:10

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