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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

G. I. Jane
Directed by Ridley Scott
Buena Vista 08/97 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R - language, combat violence

G. I. Jane is an adrenalin-pumping and passionate film about the spiritual firepower of zeal. Lillian DeHaven (Anne Bancroft), a U.S. Senator from Texas who is the senior member of the arms services committee, plays hardball with the Secretary of the Navy to break precedent and allow a woman to enter the Navy's SEAL training program. Since the dropout rate for this rigorous program is 60%, nobody thinks a woman will last more than a week. Jordan O'Neil (Demi Moore), a naval intelligence officer, is chosen as the first test case. Realizing that a big symbol makes a big target, she convinces her commanding officer (Scott Wilson) to put her on the same playing field as the male trainees. Jordan deftly handles the hatred, the ridicule, and the numerous attempts to sabotage her efforts. As one black recruit says, "You're just the new nigger on the block."

Director Ridley Scott has made an intensely involving film that vividly and viscerally conveys the physical and moral challenges pioneers must face in the pursuit of their dreams. Demi Moore, in her best performance yet, is especially forceful in hand-to-hand combat with her misogynistic Command Master Chief (Viggo Mortensen). And then she goes head-to-head in battle with Senator DeHaven who is ready to throw her to the dogs in order to maintain her political power base. G. I. Jane shows how zeal can be a spiritual dynamo bringing out the best that is in us.

 

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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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