Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
USA/Germany, 1999. Paramount Pictures, Neufeld Rehme Productions, MFP Munich Film Partners GmbH & Company I. Produktions KG, Hollywood Licensing Group, Mace Neufeld Productions. Screenplay by Christopher Bertolini, William Goldman, based on the novel by Nelson DeMille. Cinematography by Peter Menzies Jr.. Produced by Mace Neufeld. Music by Carter Burwell. Production Design by J. Dennis Washington. Costume Design by Erica Edell Phillips. Film Editing by Glen Scantlebury.
The worst film of the year is this blundering psychological murder mystery starring John Travolta (in a hackneyed performance) and Madeleine Stowe (looking like she wandered onto the set by accident). Travolta plays a military officer who is assigned to investigate the occurrences surrounding a young female officer found bound, gagged, raped and murdered on a military base. James Cromwell is the girl’s father (the General of the title), and Stowe is Travolta’s ex-wife who also takes part in the investigation. The film throws red herrings out continuously, but one look at the billing in the opening titles easily gives away who the culprit is. While you wait for this inevitable answer, you’re stuck watching a rambling bore full of idiotic speeches, overly melodramatic music and completely non-subtle misogynistic overtones (how much can director Simon West linger on closeups of the young woman’s underwear being slowly pulled off her body during a gang rape scene?) Written by William Goldman, who six months after the release of the film actually had the gall to write an article in Premiere criticizing that year’s Academy Award nominees for Best Picture for their dullness.