George C. Scott
John P. Navin Jr.
Billy Van Zandt
|"Honor doesn't count for shit when you're looking at a dead little boy."|
|Time: 126 mins.|
SYNOPSIS: Military cadets take extreme measures to insure the future of their academy when its existence is threatened by local condo developers.
BOTTOM LINE: I remember being really taken with this film in my youth. After watching it again, I was not at all touched by the film's premise of friendship, honor and duty at all cost. Maybe it's my age, but I found the plot, which has a group of young man taking over their military academy, to be not only completely unbelievable, but downright silly. This was a fairly original concept in the early 80s, long before we were inundated on a daily basis with stories of gun-totting youths, but the film still seems to be just going through the motions. Though the filmmaker's try to give you an idea of what the school means to these boys and why they are taking matters into their own hands, you don't get more than a superficial glance into this world before all hell breaks loose. The fact that the school was closing just didn't seem like a big enough deal to risk their lives over. Besides, do boys really want to be in military school? Isn't that where parents usually send their deliquent sons? You think they'd have been thrilled. The most impressive thing about this film is its cast all fresh-faced and destined for stardom. Hutton, Penn and Cruise certainly give their roles every ounce of talent and craft they had at the time. Despite the star power of his co-stars, Hutton carries this movie, giving it heart, passion and intelligence, and yet it's not enough to make you believe in his cause. Cruise plays one of his only wacky/bad boy roles with great gusto. To bad he turned out to be nothing but a pretty face. TAPS won't knock your socks off, but the cast makes it interesting.