Seemingly timed to coincide with a U.S. invasion in Iraq, this jingoistic ode to military machismo from director Antoine Fuqua often feels like little more than pro-war propaganda. Bruce Willis plays Lt. A.K. Waters, a laughably stoic Navy SEAL sent to “extract” bosomy American doctor Lena Kendricks (Monica Bellucci) from a war-torn area of Nigeria, where she has been volunteering. When Dr. Kendricks refuses to leave her charges behind, Waters initially refuses to alter the mission, then abruptly – and inexplicably – changes his mind. Thus begins a predictable trek to safety, with the one-dimensional U.S. “good guys” and the ludicrously helpless native “victims” being dogged by cardboard-cutout African rebel “evildoers” every step of the way. Amid rockets glaring and bombs bursting in air, the simplistic message that emerges is that, unquestionably, only America can save the world.
Kinsey Scale: 1 (There’s absolutely no asking or telling going on in this military flick. In The Jackal, Willis’ hitman character kissed then killed a gay man. Bellucci can currently be seen in Irreversible, which opens with the vicious beating of a presumably gay man inside a hellish S&M club called The Rectum. Tom Skerritt, seen briefly as a commanding officer, was in gay fave Steel Magnolias.)
(Appeared in Gay City News)