Beautiful, brilliant Captain Elisabeth Campbell (Leslie Stefanson), over-achieving daughter of politically ambitious General Joseph Campbell (James Cromwell), is found brutally assaulted and murdered on the grounds of the base where she serves under
her father's command. Squabbling Warrant Officers Paul Brenner (John Travolta) and Sarah Sunhill (Madeleine Stowe), who share a tangled romantic background, are assigned to investigate and it's strongly suggested that they clear up the case before 36 hours have elapsed and the FBI steps in.
Brenner, who served in Vietnam under General Campbell, is appropriately gung ho to find the man or men who killed his idol's daughter. But the investigation quickly turns up some ugly facts about her kinky private life, and it's soon clear to both Sunhill and Brenner that some kind of military
cover-up is being maneuvered into place and they're expected to play along like good little soldiers. An extraordinary array of high-voltage star power is deployed in the service of this exceptionally sleazy thriller, whose high-minded concerns about military insularity and the particular
troubles of women in the armed forces are all but swallowed up by a swamp of sordid sex hijinks. The second-tier casting is better than it has to be, so the supporting roles (which in some cases are exceptionally badly written) sparkle and add needed luster to the leads, especially Travolta's
throwaway performance: James Woods as Colonel Moore, a gimlet-eyed psychological operations specialist with complicated loyalties; Cromwell as the General whose genial public face lies lightly over a deeply flawed character; Timothy Hutton as glad-handing Colonel Phil Kent. But director Simon West
seems to confuse visual stylishness with emotional resonance, moody lighting with genuinely malevolent atmosphere, and sanctimonious lip service with genuine concern. The whole lurid business is undeniably entertaining, but it leaves a bad taste.
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- Released: 1999
- Rating: R
- Review: Beautiful, brilliant Captain Elisabeth Campbell (Leslie Stefanson), over-achieving daughter of politically ambitious General Joseph Campbell (James Cromwell), is found brutally assaulted and murdered on the grounds of the base where she serves under her f… (more)