MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3

Billed as a dramatic thriller, Basic is reminiscent of The Sixth Sense . When six Army Ranger cadets enter the jungles of Panama with their legendary and brutal drill sergeant, Nathan West (Samuel L. Jackson), it seems like a normal training exercise. But 17 hours later, only two survivors emerge, with guns blazing. Hoping to find some answers before being grilled by his superiors, Chief Warrant Officer Pete Wilmer (Timothy Daly) calls in his old friend, Tom Hardy (John Travolta), a rogue DEA agent and former Ranger. Hardy questions the two remaining Rangers with the help of the reluctant official Army investigator, Lt. Julia Osborne (Connie Nielsen). Sifting through the evidence and conflicting stories, Hardy and Osborne try to reconstruct the events in the jungle and discover who is to blame. But through the process, they uncover dark secrets and a web of deception and corruption that veil the truth.

With a phenomenal opening hook, the film promises a well-told story but quickly disappoints the audience. Basic desperately tries to be clever but almost always fails. With plot twist after plot twist, it ultimately degenerates into laughable absurdity. And unlike The Sixth Senses careful attention to detail, Basic can be difficult to follow in places and doesnt always make sense. It is also filled with innumerable crudities, obscenities and profanities, which only add insult to injury. Basic may find favor with young men, but its relentless rough language and profanity and its recurring violence make it unacceptable viewing. The discerning few may come away from with a couple of redeeming messages, but Preview's best advice is to stay away from Basic.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty
Columbia Tristar

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: many (17) times mild 7, moderate 10.

Obscene Language: many (62) times F-word 41, S-word 14, other 7.

Profanity: many (21) times regular 18 (G 1, GD 7, J 3, C 2, JC 3, swear to G 2 ), exclamatory 3 (OG 1, OMG 2).

Violence: many times mild (military training, extreme military verbal and physical abuse ), moderate (many gun fights with several people killed, fist fights, threats with guns, man threatens to push man into airplane propeller), severe (man shown after being killed with grenade, man dies in hospital with blood expelled from mouth).

Sex: none.

Nudity: none.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: few times moderate (man jokingly propositions woman, man tells woman he is aroused).

Drugs: several times mild (use of alcohol, use of tobacco, references to being or getting drunk), moderate (references to drug use, drug sales).

Other: man scratches himself, depiction of corruption and murder, suggestion that truth depends on ones perspective, depiction of bribery.

Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: adults

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