Release Date: August 22, 1997
Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Demi Moore, Viggo Mortensen, Anne Bancroft
Runtime: 125 min
Tagline: Failure is not an option.
G.I. Jane follows Lieutenant Jordan O’Neill (Demi Moore), the first woman to be enrolled in a U.S. Navy SEAL training camp. Everyone expects her to fail, especially the fairly brutal Master Chief John James Urgayle (Viggo Mortensen). However, she is a woman who needs to prove everyone wrong.
As far as memorable military action dramas go, this is one of the most forgettable and dull I’ve seen. Its slow pacing does not allow it to be engaging in the slightest. The only highlight of the feature is Moore and Mortensen’s acting, her hot body, the few action sequences it offers, its attempt at underlying themes, and Ridley Scott’s expert direction.
Demi Moore delivers a solid performance by exemplifying emotions of strength, perseverance and her will to make a statement. Oh, and her body and cold nipples are great supporting performers. O’Neill’s will to prove her point on sticking it out through the brutal training is her main characterization. She is a strong woman who can kick ass and look sexy while doing it. At least, before she shaves her head. Then she only looks half-sexy. Mortensen’s brutal Master Chief is the most vibrant symbol gender inequality within the American military, as he is the one who doesn’t want her to succeed the most. O’Neill’s husband wants to her to succeed, but others don’t even believe she’d last a freaking week. All the other characters are barely characterized, and there is hardly anyone else that is notable.
There’s only two very memorable action sequences, and they are unfortunately tedious. There’s one scene where two characters might as well be in a real-life duel of Mortal Kombat, and it gets to a point of dullness and disgust. I also wanted to yell at the screen, “For the love of God! FINISH HIM!” The other scene isn’t quite as tedious because it is very suspenseful, and well directed by the great Ridley Scott. Another memorable aspect of the film is its attempt to display the brutality of the Navy SEALs and the sort-of-insane training. These men in military gender inequality really push O’Neil to her emotional, physcial and mental capabilities. Gender inequality is the other solid underlying theme and it’s about a fictitious woman who tried to change it. However, it comes across as dull feminism propaganda. Within the first twenty minutes, I already felt as if the one of the only underlying ideas was being sledge-hammered too deep down my throat. G.I. Jane’s attempt at trying to express these ideas is admirable, but unfortunately very flawed. It also doesn’t know if it’s an action flick or a drama, because there’s too little action and too dull to be an effective military drama… If you look at it as a military drama with the tendency to be somewhat exciting, you might like it.
In a nutshell: G.I. Jane is a forgettable military drama most will forget within two months. The premise is too predictable to be engaging. Its purpose of showing gender inequality within the military is admirable, but ultimately too flawed and only a little exciting. The only solid things about the flick are the few action sequences, Moore’s acting, and her nipples metaphorically singing “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”