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Taps Reviews

This gripping but decidedly overwrought drama shows what happens when a military school becomes a military zone. Gen. Harlan Bache (George C. Scott, top-billed in little more than a cameo) runs the military academy, which is in danger of being closed because a greedy real estate combine wants to replace the ivy-covered, tradition-laden buildings with luxury condominiums on the valuable property. The deal is made, but when the developers try to move in and shut the place down prior to razing the structures, the students revolt. Led by Moreland (Timothy Hutton), the boys unite to demonstrate all they've learned--and taking over the armory, which is filled with weaponry and live ammunition, they keep the invaders at bay. The army is called in to quell this student revolt, but the boys continue to fight, and real bullets begin flying. Although Hutton was the hot property when the film was produced, his younger costars, Sean Penn and Tom Cruise, stole the film and became superstars in their own right. Unfortunately, director Harold Becker moves the film along at a snail's pace, giving the audience too much time to ponder holes in the plot, weakening the tension-filled climax by delaying it too long.