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Review #17 of 365
Film: Annapolis [PG-13] 108 minutes
WIP: $6.00
When 1st Seen: 27 January 2006
Where Viewed: AMC Theatres Pacific Place 11
Time: 5:15 p.m.
Review Dedicated to: Christopher J. of Chicago, IL

Brian Tyler - Annapolis

I went into the theater with high expectations (oops, I shouldn’t have watched the trailer for this film, but I couldn’t help it). You have James Franco (most recently of Tristan & Isolde (click for my review) and Tyrese Gibson facing off in Naval Academy boxing. What could be better than that as a premise for a great Friday afternoon at the movies? As the film unfolded, however, I kept asking myself, “Hmm, where have I seen that before? Was that an episode of ‘JAG’? Was that straight out of An Officer and a Gentleman? Or was it G.I. Jane?”, and hmm, I just thought of this, but, the bar seen at the beginning is even vaguely reminiscent of the one in…hmm…Top Gun? After a while, a word came to mind that unfortunately must be used to describe this film, and that is ‘derivative’ or maybe ‘recycled’. In neither case, that is that a compliment. Well, and not to mention the plot is somewhat ‘formulaic’. Alright, so the movie is completely unoriginal in just about every way. Was there anything to like about it? I loved the scenery of the Naval Academy. I liked the insider’s look at the Academy. I am not sure how much, if at all, it bears any resemblance to the truth, but I enjoyed that part regardless. James Franco plays another good guy at heart. Some unexpected things happen—can’t give these away without ruining the few surprises in a mostly recycled, derivative, formulaic film.

All in all, I would say, if you want to see a good boxing movie, see Million Dollar Baby; if you want to see a good scrappy kid overcome a maniacal drill sergeant/superior officer, see Louis Gossett Jr. in An Officer and a Gentleman; if you want to see new military recruits doing pushups in the rain, see G.I. Jane; if you want to see James Franco in a really good movie, see Spiderman 2 or Tristan & Isolde; and if you want to see a really great movie about intrigue in the military see A Few Good Men. You are probably starting to get my point. Annapolis is a disappointing film. It tries to be original at times, but just doesn’t cut out of the mold. I apologize, I had really wanted it to be good, but it just wasn’t.


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United States Naval Academy: 150 Years In Annapolis [VHS] VHS
Annapolis [DVD] (2006) DVD
Annapolis (Widescreen Version) [DVD] (2006) DVD

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