General's Daughter, The
Reviewed by Diane Squires
Rating: 5 Beans
an you beleive I was atually looking forward to seeing this thing? All I can say is thank God I missed it in the theatre. If I'm this ticked about being subjected to it on my parent's VCR, can you imagine how mad I'd be if I'd wasted eight bucks plus popcorn and Coke on this thing?
The basic plot is there's this General, and he's played by James Cromwell from "Babe", so given the trend in his recent work, you have to take it for granted that he's a kindly looking total and complete bastard. Anyways, he has this daughter and she's been murdered. Oh and she was naked and tied up too, so it's really scandalous. The army has to call in John Travolta and Madeleine Stowe to investigate, so the killer can be found before the incident shakes the foundations of democracy or whatever. This basic set-up is followed by the dullest hour and a half imaginable.
It's really sad that this film turned out be so dull, because it shouldn't have been. About five minutes into the investigation we learn that the daughter was a total megaslut and that she was involved in psy-ops. What a great set up for an evil conspiracy! It just begs for some kind of enlisted Dr Lecter to turn up slathering and intimidating everyone he meets. Instead we get James Woods, who is totally wasted as a really creepy, yet really decent sort of guy. He's hardly said "Hello" before he's been shot and once he's gone, we learn that his character was in reality so bland (you see, he only *seemed* interesting and creepy), that he won't be missed by anyone at all.
Meanwhile, the bad, mean, chauvinist enlisted assholes are beating John and Madeleine up at fairly regular intervals. That is to say, they are until they get caught, which takes all of five minutes once John and Maddy get pissed enough to make an effort. I would also like to note that the action appears to take place over two days, which is more than enough time to recover from being savagely beaten with a shovel if you are one of the stars of a movie like this one.
At long last we reach our story's shocking conclusion. It's all James Cromwell's fault. Why? Because he's a bad person, that's why. I kid you not, the General didn't kill his daughter, but it's all his fault anyway because he wasn't a good enough dad. No really, I'm serious. You are supposed to blame him. The epilogue basicly states that his whole career was ruined by these events because if he'd been more likable, none of this would have happened.
I'm not even going to tell you how bad the dialogue was. Just trust me that it was pretty bad, and any and all attempts at levity on Travolta's part leave you saying "Huh?" And why do those idiots who run the US Military always insist that people investigating mysteries or saving the nation should always be teamed up with their ex-girlfriends or ex-wives? Hasn't it occurred to them yet that everything would be solved a lot more quickly if there was less bickering and "witty" banter during criminal investigations?!?! Grrrr...
Oh well, rent this one if you must. At least it wasn't as bad as "The Haunting".
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