General's Daughter

A review by Mike Shea   Movie Rating: ( * * * · · )    DVD Rating: ( * * * * * )

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The General's Daughter starts with a bang. We get an introduction that shows off all the major characters along with an initial mini-story of our hero as he breaks the case of an arms dealer. Next thing we know, we are knee deep in a murder investigation and then all of a sudden we are privy to the second oldest of cliche's next to the buddy-cop, the disgruntled couple on the crime. In walks Madeleine Stowe (who rocks in 12 Monkeys) as the old time flame ("We'll always have Brussels") who is now working on the case. I guess the suits just figured that the story didn't suck enough on it's own so they throw this in to make sure it fades into the typical Hollywood slime instead of standing out as a movie with a purpose. But I am being overly harsh. The story has all the good elements of a mystery wrapped around the common theme of "the right way or the Army way". How far does someone go to protect their brethren? Instead of using the army as a nice subtile backdrop to the story it instead has to throw every political headline that has graced our fine media including both women and gays in the military. I could have done without the soapboxing even though I still wasn't clear which way I was supposed to feel. John Travolta does a good job as the hard edged military undercover officer but I don't buy him when he holds a pistol to a perps head and says "I am going to ask you one more time". I don't care if his ex-whatever did spill coffee on him, it is a far cry to shoot a man in his bunk. Other than that, it still does a good job and is still an enjoyable film. Some of the cinematics are great especially the introduction. The DVD does paramount proud with a sterling 16x9 enhanced transfer, a warm and thick 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack, extra scenes, and a directors commentary. Glad to know some folks actually listen to their consumer unlike some (*kaff* FOX!!! **hack). Overall, not a bad flick at all but could have been better without the Hollywood-shlock requirements thrown in.