Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA/Australia, 1999. Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures, Village-A.M. Partnership, Coast Ridge, Atlas Entertainment, Junger Witt Productions. Story by John Ridley, Screenplay by David O. Russell. Cinematography by Newton Thomas Sigel. Produced by Paul Junger Witt, Edward McDonnell, Charles Roven. Music by Carter Burwell. Production Design by Catherine Hardwicke. Costume Design by Kym Barrett. Film Editing by Robert K. Lambert.
What at first seems like a boorish action movie about heroes in the Gulf War turns out to be a thoughtful and haunting meditation on the mercenary nature of that very war. George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube and Spike Jonze are American soldiers who take a detour from their regular duties to find gold bullion they know to be located somewhere out in the great vast deserts they are stationed in. Through experiences thick and thin, they find themselves going from guys happy to cash in on the experience to realizing the very sad nature of being a part of a war that sometimes feels like it really is just about cheap gas and Calvin Klein jeans. David O. Russell directs with a vengeance, the photography is unforgettable and all the roles are cast perfectly. Action lovers will enjoy the fun, movie lovers will enjoy the intelligence.