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"Annapolis" is a boxing movie cloaked as a feature-length commercial for the famous Naval Academy training facility. Chiseled actor James Franco and ultra-cutie Jordana Brewster exemplify a handholding union between officer and recruit even if fraternization between plebes and their superiors is in fact prohibited. Screenwriter Dave Collard takes dramatic mockery further by neglecting any reference to America’s dicey political and military status. Jake Huard (Franco) is a naive blue-collar steelworker whose low self-esteem prevents him from aspiring beyond the military base across the river from his hometown. Huard’s average grades have relegated him to the Sisyphean status of "wait-lister" which commanding officer Cole (Tyrese Gibson) hones in on as a weakness to make or break Huard once he enters the hallowed gates of Annapolis. The combative relationship that develops between Cole and Huard culminates in a brutal boxing competition called the Brigades. Character development and narrative substance are absent in this wispy movie about beefcake and getting a knack for teamwork in an oppressive atmosphere. Special features include a commentary track with director Justin Lin, screenwriter Dave Collard and editor Fred Raskin, two making-of featurettes, and seven deleted scenes with optional director’s commentary. Aspect ratio is anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1, with sound quality processed in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound.
(Movie – Two Stars, DVD features – Two Stars) Rated PG-13, 113 mins. (Buena Vista Home Video)

July 31, 2006 in Drama | Permalink