Projections - Movie Reviews

Rules of Engagement Rules of Engagement

Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson bring to the screen a powerful and graphic view of political life in the United States.  This is not just a modified A Few Good Men and for many reasons is a much better film.

Our story begin with a bit of history on both Jackson as Col. Terry Childers and Jones as Col. Hayes Hodges in battle in Vietnam.  In this brief scene, we come to know the two Marines and what they have experienced.  We also get to know what combat was like and get an insight into what soldiers faced daily in Vietnam.  The visual images are a bit graphic, not for sensation, but for accuracy and drama.

Now jump ahead almost 30 years and you see Jones and Jackson today.  The story plays out as a soldier doing his duty in protecting those under his command while saving the occupants of a U.S. Embassy and ending up being used as a scapegoat for political reasons.  Here you meet William Sokal, the National Security Advisor, as well as Ben Kingsley as Ambassador Mourain.  Both Sokal and Kingsley play the consummate politicals.  The attempt to save face in a delicate region of the world and their political futures forces a general court marshal and trial.

I will not divulge the specifics but both Jones and Jackson are Marines in the classical sense.  Pride, honor and the Corps are in the forefront of everything they do and say.  While the politicals show the shadows that it seems every government today operates in.

There are also some good supporting roles by Guy Pearce as Major Mark Briggs, Philip Baker Hall as General H. Lawrence Hodges, Mark Feuerstein as Capt. Tom Chandler, Blair Underwood as Capt. Lee and a nice showing by Anne Archer as Mrs. Mourain.

Look for a gritty real world taste to this drama as the governments, political climate and Marine life and pride are explored in great detail.

To any Marine or armed service member active or retired reading this, Thank You.

Rules of Engagement

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