Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Film Review: TIGERLAND (2000)

Director: Joel Schumacher
Running time: 100 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18

Genre: War/Drama
UK Release date: 18th May 2001

Watched on Sky+ Tuesday 22nd March 2011.


This is, again, a film I have seen before, and, again, I got a lot more out of it second time around. I have to blame my good buddy Mr. The Aus Man for pointing me in the direction of this one this week. Otherwise I may have watched one from ‘The (now famous) List’. But I digress; I will give you my thoughts on this one after a brief summary (summary haters and those that don’t wish to know anything about the plot please “GIVE ME TEN SOLDIER!” while I write the next paragraph).

It is 1971 and at the U.S. Army Training camp at Fort Polk, Louisiana, the new recruits are getting ready for their eight weeks’ training. This will culminate in a visit to the infamous ‘Tigerland’, an area made to look and feel like Viet Nam. One soldier, Pvt. Roland Bozz, doesn’t want to be there and he tries everything he can to get himself discharged, but the Army won’t budge. He’s a humanitarian who does not want to fight. He is befriended by Pvt. Jim Paxton, an aspiring writer. Bozz is very good at getting people out of the army who have a legitimate reason, and he gains a bit of a reputation for this. The brass doesn’t know what to do with him, but he eventually shows leadership qualities and is made platoon Sergeant. This does not go down well with the psychopathic Pvt. Wilson, who takes it personally when Bozz has him removed from the platoon. Eventually they reach the stage where they have to go to Tigerland, and Bozz has a surprise waiting for him there. I’ve probably said too much, but I’ll leave it there so as not to make the Spoiler Police too upset.

At first I thought this film is trying so hard to be Kubrick’s 1987 classic, Full Metal Jacket, but I was proved wrong. Although it’s not quite as good as that, it’s still pretty good. Good performances all round, particularly from; Colin Farrell as Bozz, Matthew Davis as Paxton, Clifton Collins Jr. as Miter, Tom Guiry as Cantwell and Shea Whigham as Wilson.

As I said at the beginning, I have seen this film before, but I really couldn’t remember much about it. On a second viewing, I can see I missed a pretty good film, maybe not brilliant, but certainly a good effort. The picture has kind of a news report feel about it, with slightly washed out colours and quite a bit of hand-held photography. Over all, a pretty enjoyable film that keeps the audience interested and has a few interesting plot twists… Recommended.

My score: 7.3/10

(RT = Rotten Tomatoes)
IMDb Page: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0170691/
RT Page: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/tigerland/
Trailer: http://uk.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi1643577625/

1 comment:

The Movie Snob said...

Need to see this. Maybe it will soften my view on Schumacher.