Basic (2003) DEA agent Travolta is investigating a military exercise (led by Jackson's drill sergeant) gone horribly wrong, and he wants answers! But we have a few…
Movie on DVD Review

Basic (2003)

EW's GRADE
C-

Details Release Date: Jul 08, 2003; DVD Release Date: Jul 08, 2003; Movie Rated: R; Genres: Drama, Mystery and Thriller; With: Samuel L. Jackson, Connie Nielsen and John Travolta; Distributor: Sony Pictures Entertainment

DEA agent Travolta is investigating a military exercise (led by Jackson's drill sergeant) gone horribly wrong, and he wants answers! But we have a few questions of our own, chiefly: Why rip off Rashomon with several different accounts of the same event if they all end up being not only bogus, but boring, too? Basic's most basic flaw (yes, even more than Connie Nielsen's laughable Southern accent) is its lame attempt to generate heat through a series of ''twists'' that are as inane as they are implausible. These last-minute switcheroos are a cheap substitute for actual intrigue. EXTRAS Hey, who wants to hear writer James Vanderbilt read passages from his script? Whoa, not all at once now.

Originally posted Jul 11, 2003 Published in issue #718 Jul 11, 2003 Order article reprints