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Annapolis

by Archives February 1, 2006

Grade: B+

Just as you begin to think the army, the marines, and other special forces have fulfilled their cinematographic potential, a movie such as Annapolis comes along and proves you wrong. Annapolis is a fresh and modern take on what goes on behind the high walls of the American Naval Academy.

As Jake Huard’s wish of joining the naval academy comes true, he leaves behind a life he never aspired to in order to follow his lifelong dream. He will go to great lengths in hope of honouring his late mother, and ultimately making his estranged father proud.

With hectic training worthy of the most physically demanding episode of Fear Factor, and equally challenging studies, Huard will learn about the value of hard-work, discipline, and companionship. Through frictions with other plebes and his superiors, he will also learn to become who he truly is.

As luck would have it, Huard’s boxing prowesses allow him to train in hopes of a face-off with a drill instructor that takes pride in turning the plebes’ lives into a living hell.

Using the naval boxing rings as backdrop to this powerful drama, Annapolis illustrates the ups and downs of a man’s solitude in his new life at the academy. Struggling to find his own place in life as well as in this school, he will find what is truly worth fighting for.

Annapolis will draw obvious comparisons to movies such as All the Right Moves and An Officer and a Gentleman. However, this new movie has all the elements to inspire filmmakers and one day become one of the mimicked ones.

James Franco delivers another one of his trademark flawless performances. His portrayal of James Dean in the 2001 TNT made-for-television movie earned him the Best Actor Golden Globe. His performance caught the eye of Robert DeNiro, who handpicked him to portray his son in 2002’s City By the Sea. Franco is undoubtedly a genuinely gifted actor, perhaps even one of the most promising and talented actors of his generation.

Opposite Franco star Jordana Brewster and Tyrese Gibson. Brewster proves she is much more than just a pretty face, although her talent would have called for a more significant and nuanced character. Gibson, the famous R&B singer/model-turned-actor delivers a surprisingly efficient performance as Huard’s arch-nemesis.

Although the cast is everything it could possibly be, the plot is Annapolis’s main strength. Adding a touch of humour to a poignant and powerful story, David Collard has crafted the perfect storyline with clever dialogues for a highly entertaining movie. It all flows very well with director Justin Lin’s rhythmic and fast-paced treatment. Through energetic editing and efficient camera tricks, he brings the quality up a few notches and successfully sustains the viewers’ interest in each frame.

In spite of the slight feeling of d

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