“… a bizarre experience from start to finish.”
Yesterday I decided to watch Basic, and believe me when I say it was a fucking weird experience. For those who don’t know, which is probably most of you, Basic is your classic whodunit thriller. When six marines go into the jungle for a routine training exercise, only two return. What happened to the other four? Well that’s what the movie’s about silly.
So like I said, Basic is a pretty average whodunit thriller. It doesn’t do anything really new with the genre, but I found it interesting enough that it kept my attention throughout. Actually, it’s not fair to say that Basic did nothing new with the genre because it did have something that no other thriller like this has had before: usually movies with a twist pick one ‘twist’ to reveal to the audience; Basic picked them all. And that was really my biggest gripe with the movie, it got so muddled in the whole “fooled you” aspect that I completely lost the thread of the story. I legitimately couldn’t tell you how that movie ended because I was sitting there scratching my head while the entire thing was unfolding. Now obviously I don’t want to go into too much detail for fear of spoiling the movie (if you’re at all interested in seeing it), so I’ll cut off this portion of the review here.
The rest of the movie was pretty average as well, if I’m being honest. The performances were just fine, despite a lot of big name actors being in it. Samuel L. Jackson was barely in it, and the best part of John Travolta’s performance was that his character was named Tom Hardy (making this one of the worst Tom Hardy movies). Other actors, like Giovanni Ribisi and Connie Nielsen, had passable performances, but really fucking weird accents. And speaking of weird, I found it strange how oddly stylized the direction and editing were in this movie. The story was trying to put forth a ‘serious’ tone, but everything about the look of the movie reminded me of MTV in the 90’s. It was just a bizarre experience from start to finish.
Overall Basic is a movie that isn’t very good. It did enough to keep me interested throughout, but by the end I was completely checked-out due to the plot becoming very convoluted. The performances were fine, but not good enough to watch the movie for them. And despite having a serious feel, the way the film was directed and edited gave off this weird stylized vibe that constantly clashed with the rest of the film.
I give Basic a C