Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Boot Camp

Boot Camp 2007
Director: Christian Duguay
Writers: Agatha Dominik and John Cox
Starring Mila Kunis, Gregory Smith, Peter Stormare, Regina Nehy, Alejandro Rae, Christopher Jacot and Tyghe Runyan

I rented this one because it sounded like a very interesting premise and I like Mila Kunis and Peter Stormare. Though, this really isn't a horror film, it is a horror film if you consider a film like Midnight Express a horror film. But, as I was watching the film you really felt the hell these kids were being put through and by the end it sort of turns into a variation on Lord of the Flies. The story really propels the conflict and the action the main characters face and you really hope they will survive the extremities of their situation more or less in one piece. If there was one problem with the film it plays more like a movie of the week than a actual film and it would have helped if the film had been more extreme.
The plot basics are this, Sophie (Kunis) is a troubled teen who has issues with her stepfather, who she resents because her father is dead. She causes scene after scene and finally her stepfather and mother decide to put her in this "tough love" boot camp, which is run by Norman Hail (Stormare). He teaches them to rely on their inner self, but not without berating them and at times physically abusing them. Sophie's boyfriend, Ben (Smith) finds out where she is and gets himself sent there so he can rescue Sophie. He breaks her out but they are found and taken back and soon it all begins to unravel for Hail and leads to a mob mentality breakdown from all the kids that ultimately leads to the dissolution of the camp.
This was a pretty good little film. The direction by Duguay is quite good, he ratchets up the suspense well and you never feel that the film is going down a preordained path. The script is good too, all the characters are fully realized and never seem to just be superficial. The acting is good, I especially enjoyed Stormare as Hail, he really played him as a misguided motivational speaker. Also of note was Runyan as Logan, a almost R. Lee Ermey type of drill sergeant for the camp. The film really plays upon peoples fear of what happens in boot camps like this and you always feel for the kids over anyone else in the film. This is definitely worth a watch.
This one gets 3 out of 5

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