A fateful event leads to a job in the film business for top mixed-martial arts instructor Mike Terry. Though he refuses to participate in prize bouts, circumstances conspire to force him to consider entering such a competition.
Following the theft of a postal-order, a fourteen-year old cadet is expelled from Naval College. To save the honour of the boy and his family, the pre-eminent barrister of the day is engaged to take on the might the Admiralty.
In the US-government's special ops, Scott is a shooter, not a planner, doing the job without regard to quaint or obsolete convention. When a Harvard undergrad goes missing (the daughter of a US leader), it's Scott who applies the pressure, first to her boyfriend, then to a madam whose cathouse is the initial stop en route to a white slavery auction in Dubai. The abductors may not know the girl's identity, but once they figure it out, she's doomed. Deadly double crosses force Scott to become a planner. Through it all, earnest TV newscasters read the drivel they're handed.Written by
It's Burch (Ed O'Neill) who sees potential in Robert Scott (Val Kilmer), whose perceptive skills and willingness to commit to the mission make him the best man for a dirty job. "Scott says what Burch needs to hear," O'Neill said, referring to a scene in which Burch asks the task force what will happen to Laura Newton. Scott is the only one to voice the harsh truth: "They're going to kill her". See more »
The scope on Curtis's gun is an Aimpoint Comp M series. It does not magnify the image as the movie indicates, nor does it have cross-hairs. Instead, it projects a red dot in the scope showing where the bullet will hit. See more »
You had your whole life to prepare for this moment. Why aren't you ready?
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David Mamet serves up something a little different from his previous efforts. He leaves behind the world of con men (but not necessarily cons) and takes a stab at a political thriller/action movie. In my opinion no director working today delivers as consistently within his modest budgets as Mamet. This is of course due to the fact that this guy just flat-out knows how to write. You can nearly always count on good dialogue and detailed plotting in a David Mamet film.
Val Kilmer stars as a Delta-Force type soldier who is suddenly summoned by the highest powers of the US Government to find out what happened to young girl who has been kidnapped. Turns out the girl is someone very important, and things, as usual, are not what they seem. When the true nature of the situation is revealed, Kilmer and his young protégé, played by Derek Luke, begin a breathless, take-no-prisoners pursuit to find the girl before the situation gets out of hand. The movie has lots of unexpected stops and starts and surprises, and by the final scenes you begin to question all that has come before and wonder what the hell is going to happen next. In this age of mindlessly predictable blockbusters, you have to love that.
That's not to say that Spartan is perfect, or even close to Mamet's best effort. The more ambitious scale of this film compared to previous ones force a bit of awkward dialogue and some plot points that stretch credulity, but overall this film packs an undeniable punch. Much credit goes to Val Kilmer, who plays his role of icy, super efficient government operative with just the right tone. Kilmer's great talent has always been obvious, but all too often he picks projects that barely stand up around his performances. Not this time. Other actors are not quite as effective, including the usually spot-on William H. Macy, who just doesn't seem to carry the weight of his charachter.
Fans of Mamet will notice a continuation of some themes he has been kicking around for a few years. Government corruption, patriotism and personal honor are among them. In that sense this is at once a very old fashioned story and a very modern, timely movie. Despite some small flaws, I enjoyed it immensely.
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