MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1/2

James Franko, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson. Written by David Collard. Directed by Justin Lin

When he won a coveted admission spot to the Naval Academy at Annapolis, local kid Jake Huard (JAMES FRANCO) thought all his dreams had come true but his battle to become the man he wants to be is only just beginning. Now, uncertain if a regular kid from a poor blue collar family can fit into the Academys pressure-cooker atmosphere, Jake decides to enter the notoriously fierce Navy boxing competition known as the Brigade Championships and face off against his arch-nemesis, Midshipman Lt. Cole (TYRESE GIBSON). Everything Jake has ever hoped for stands in the balance: the chance to make his father proud, to validate his Lieutenants faith in him, to stand up for his comrades.

A sense of Deja Vu overcame me as I sat in the screening. The film seemed like a recycled An Officer and a Gentleman with the original rebel, James Dean, replacing its lead Richard Gere. Here, the intense James Franco is fine, but one cant help make the comparison, especially when the director and cinematographer go out of their way to film the actor with the same touches used to make a star out of Dean in Rebel Without A Cause. But An Officer and a Gentleman is 24 years old now, and Rebel Without A Cause is ancient, so who will know that this is a rip-off story or impersonation of a movie icon? Who cares?

I do, however, have a little problem with its clichs and far-fetched situations, but then, who cares about those, either? Its a feel good movie. By films end the lone wolf has learned that he needs the help of a good woman, his hard-as-nails father lets his son know how proud he is, the arch-nemesis helps our hero become all he can be, and were full of popcorn and Cherry Coke.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Touchstone Pictures

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: there are a couple of lewd remarks made in a bar, but generally the film stays as clear from crudity as it does from wartime atrocities.

Obscene Language: 8 or so

Profanity: 5

Violence: several intense boxing matches; a couple of fights; a man attempt suicide when he washes out. Blood: just in the boxing ring

Sex: a couple of comments, but basically mild for the genre

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: drinking in a bar on two occasions

Other: Has several positive messages including no man is an island and doing the right thing

Running Time: 108 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.