Movie Thoughts: Basic

Basic was a 2003 movie starring John Travolta, Connie Nielson, and Samual L. Jackson. Only two soldiers returned from an Army Ranger training mission led by Master Sergeant Nathan West (Samuel L. Jackson). Captain Julia Osborne (Connie Nielson) and Tom Hardy (John Travolta) were assigned to solve this whodunit to discover who was at fault.

I originally got this movie as a gift from my sister for Christmas. At the time I was thinking of building a movie library. On my Christmas list I asked for “Black Hawk Down or another similar war movie.” She got me Black Hawk Down and also Basic as a little bonus. I watched both films but didn’t enjoy Basic much. I was interested in war movies at the time, and Basic wasn’t really a war movie. It was actually a murder mystery in a military setting.

The movie library never panned out as I became more interested in video games, but Basic is one of the few movies that I owned a copy of. After re-watching the film, I found it to be a lot more interesting than the first time. I guess my tastes have changed. I used to love action movies, but now I don’t really care for all the violence. A more cerebral movie like Basic is more interesting. The movie wasn’t without faults though.

I thought they had a few too many plot twists. I was confused by the ending, even after repeated viewings of the final scenes. I eventually looked up what the ending was supposed to mean online. When I watched one of the special features, the director said he intended it to be that audiences would have to watch the movie more than once and write down clues to understand it. I think that’s asking too much. The basic plot of a movie should be understandable on the first viewing. It’s okay to have subtle clues that can reward subsequent viewings, but the viewer should understand the main plot points the first time.


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