MOVIE: Annapolis (2006)

We have the STARZ movie channel for free this weekend, and when I noticed this flick was playing on it, I decided to record it and give it a shot. It had been on my list of potentially-bad-movies-to-watch-anyway, and I figured if it was going to be free, there was no excuse for not finally getting down to it.

Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it. That is, though it was exactly what I suspected — An Officer and a Gentleman starring James Franco as Richard Gere — it was nowhere near as BAD as I expected. Franco plays Huard, a young man who has grown up in the shipyards across the water from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, dreaming his whole life of escaping his father’s career as a riveter and getting into the Academy instead. Though his grades were crappy, his application caught the attention of a lieutenant (Lt. Burton, played by the ubiquitous Donnie Wahlberg) and Burton pulled some strings to get him in at the last minute (eventually becoming a mentor to Huard when Huard finally learns an important lesson about the importance of asking for help).

The movie has absolutely nothing original to offer in any way — there’s the fat underdog kid who can’t get through the obstacle course and when he finally does, teaches us all an important lesson about heart; there’s the big African-American tough-guy superior (a Marine, naturally) who attempts to make Huard’s life a living hell and finally teaches him an important lesson about leadership; and there’s even a scene at the end featuring Huard’s estranged father (Brian Goodman — love him) looking just like Mr. Miyagi at the end of The Karate Kid, nodding in silent pride as his son stumbles out of the ring, and teaching us all an important lesson about “not giving up on your father even when he acts like an ass most of the time.”

Wait, “the ring”? Oh yeah, forgot to mention there’s a lot of boxing in this movie, too. Don’t ask, just go with it. At least it means you get to see James with his shirt off a lot, right?

What saves this movie from being a crappy rip-off of a much better film, though, is, in a phrase: James Franco. I’ve had my eye on James for years now, ever since he was in the great series Freaks and Geeks, but it wasn’t until about the last year or two that I really started to notice just how incredibly damn good he really is. Every movie I see him in these days just impresses the bejesus out of me (I also recently saw him in The Dead Girl and really enjoyed him in that as well), so watch for a Boyfriend write-up on him soon.

In any case, I’m glad I finally got a chance to see this movie, and if you are a fan of James, Donnie , or An Officer and a Gentleman, you too might find this flick surprisingly satisfying. It’s not a great film, but had I gone ahead and paid $4 to rent it, I wouldn’t have felt I’d just wasted any dough. ‘Nuff said.

[Netflix me | Buy me]

Genre: Drama

Cast: James Franco, Donnie Wahlberg, Brian Goodman, Jordana Brewster, Vicellous Reon Shannon, Roger Fan.

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2 Responses to “MOVIE: Annapolis (2006)”

  1. USNA Says:

    If you liked this, you’d like virtually anything … it is so bad the Academy withdrew it’s cooperation and permission to shot on the Yard.

  2. megwood Says:

    I really can’t argue with the above (that I’ll like virtually anything). And did I mention that I’m a sucker for sappy military bonding movies? What comes of growing up the daughter of a U.S. Marine, who is still your biggest hero and the person you most want to be like when you grow up.

    That’s hilarious about the Academy withdrawing it’s cooperation. Dude, ouch!

    Those of you who posted that you liked “Fracture,” a movie I thought stunk, now know just how much credence to give my movie reviews, yes? I am AWESOME.

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