G.I. Jane (1997)

G.I. JaneG.I. Jane

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.”

55/100

 

7 thoughts on “G.I. Jane (1997)

  1. Nice review Daniel. Moore is great here and so is Mortensen, but it’s Scott who keeps this flick going and moving at a pace that’s not only thrilling, but very exciting as well. Problem is, we all know how it ends, way before the big sho-down at the end.

  2. I never even entertained the thought that this was anything but a drama. The action scenes are in there to serve the drama from what I remember. And truthfully, it’s been a while since I’ve watched it. But I was never bored by it or anything. I agree wholeheartedly that Moore’s hard nipples deserve some kind of award, but I also agree with the half-hot bit after she shaved her head. I know she’s smoking….but…but…..no hair….does not compute….

    I’ll give it a rewatch once I finally get it on blu-ray. The DVD is pretty awful and dated. The picture is totally boxed up and has black bars on all four sides. I refuse to zoom in or whatever and watch it all screwed up.

    1. Oddly enough, on IMDb, the primary genre is Action and then Drama. Even though there is so little action. LOL, maybe if you put your hand to cover her shaved head, it’ll make it better… Maybe…

      Really? Thank god I watched it on blu-ray then!!

      1. I don’t know what they’re smoking calling it action. Covering her head totally would make it better. And yea, the DVD is realllllly old. I’m pretty sure the picture you used is the one I have. It’s kind of cool that you wrote this one up when you did, since right now women being allowed to be in combat is in the news.

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