A Senate Armed Services Committee interviews a candidate for the position of Secretary of the Navy. Senator Lillian DeHaven (Anne Bancroft) from Texas criticizes the Navy for not being gender-neutral. Behind the curtains, a deal is struck: If women compare favorably with men in a series of test cases, the military will integrate women fully into all branches of the Navy. The first test is the training course of the U.S. Navy Combined Reconnaissance Team. Senator DeHaven hand-picks topographical analyst Lieutenant Jordan O’Neil (Demi Moore), because she is physically more feminine than the other candidates. To make the grade, O’Neil must survive a grueling selection program in which almost 60 percent of all candidates wash out, most in the first week (“hell week”). The enigmatic Command Master Chief John James Urgayle (Viggo Mortensen) runs the brutal training program that involves 20-hour days of tasks designed to wear down recruits’ physical and mental strength, including pushing giant ship fenders up beach dunes, working through obstacle courses, and hauling landing rafts. Given a 30-second time allowance in an obstacle course, O’Neil demands to be held to the same standards as the male trainees. O’Neill is determined to prove everyones wrong about her ability to succeed in getting the grade…

“G.I. Jane” is a Ridley Scott movie, but it looks like a Tony Scott movie. It carries his classic trademarks with ridiculous macho dialogue (“Suck my dick”…), general machoism and gung ho mentality. The males are more or less stupid canon fodder with their cocks in their hands while the females are either backstabbing cold businesslike senators, lesbians or hard edged “take no prisoners” sort of women. This sort of stereotypical unbalance is part of the problems with this movie. Another one is that Demi Moore´s portrait of Jordan is not fully convincing, she simply don´t carry that posture or “weight” that is needed in this sort of role. I have always liked her, but this is a bit out of her elements. The general foundation of the script has good points, in how we need to balance the genders in all parts of our society and that includes the army. A topic that is as current as ever. But, “G.I. Jane” falls to the ground like a hand grenade due to the fact how Ridley Scott has shot it and how the script has been developed and produced. Demi Moore won the Razzie Award for Worst Actress for her performance in this film, which is maybe not fully deserved in my point of view. But, I think this is a poor way of portraying a strong, willpowered and independent woman. An interesting fact is that an alternate ending was secretly filmed without the knowledge of Disney/Hollywood Pictures Executives. When Ridley Scott first screened the film for execs, he shocked and surprised them with the ending in which Demi Moore dies. Both endings were test screened simultaneously and although the darker ending scored higher with audiences, the happier ending was chosen by executives. Similar to the surprise ending for “Thelma and Louise”, the alternate ending for “G.I. Jane” was a dark yet bittersweet one. Jordan (Moore) is killed when she risks her life to save her Commander (Viggo Mortensen) then eulogized on television by the tough Senator (Ann Bancroft). Later, the camera pans through a fresh group of SEAL recruits, among them are three women. I do like this ending better than the one that is used, however I don´t think my general opinion about the movie would´ve changed with this ending. (2 and a half out of 5)

mpw-37721