Directed by: Justin Lin
Premise: James Franco plays Jake Huard, a first year recruit in the Annapolis Navy Academy. He comes into conflict with his commanding officer (Tyrese Gibson) and the two end up settling their differences in a boxing tournament.
What Works: The film is mostly well shot. Gibson, Vicellous Reon Shannon, and Jordana Brewster do well in their roles. The boxing sequences, although derivative, do have some moments of excitement.
What Doesn’t: Annapolis bills itself as a military film but it is really a sports film; the academy seems more like an extreme gym or a prep school than the top officer academy in the US military. At some point in the second act, Annapolis gives up on the military content and becomes a boxing movie with all of the clichés. It abandons nearly all of the themes established in the first act and when it gets to the end there is little sense that our protagonist has matured at all as a leader.
Bottom Line: Annapolis would have been more successful as a straight up sports film than as some kind of military story. Those who like loud, stupid, testosterone driven sports films might find something redeeming in Annapolis, but it is too disjointed and too clichéd to be interesting. Rent An Officer and a Gentleman instead.
Episode: #84 (February 6, 2006)