Review Date: June 30, 2001
Director: George Tillman Jr.
Writer: Scott Marshall Smith
Producers: Bill Badalato, Robert Teitel
Robert De Niro
Cuba Gooding Jr.
I recommend that anyone who is feeling sorry for themselves watch this movie today! Anyone who thinks that they've got it "bad" in life should see what the lead character in this film, Carl Brashear, had to go through to achieve his goals in life. Holy shit! This dude is one tough mutha! And solid props go out to the man portraying him in the film, Cuba Gooding Jr., who actually toned his shite down here and worked real well opposite DeNiro.
And speaking of DeNiro, while I certainly admired his work here, it is far from his best or his most original (see CAPE FEAR to see him in tip-top Southern state), but good nonetheless. Mind you, I wasn't surprised to find out later that his character didn't exist in real life, but that he was more of a composite of a couple of other people.
Charlize Theron, on the other hand, was tremendously underused, and just didn't work for the part of DeNiro's "love interest". And I mean...at all!!
But the bottom line with this movie is inspiration, motivation, spirit and persistence and by golly-gee-whiz, this dude had 'em all and them some!! If any of us could straddle even half the gumption of the lead dude in this film, the world might just be a better place someday...(yeah, I know I'm being a little melodramatic, but trust me, if you "get into" this thing, it's aaaaaall good!)
All in all, a solid movie with some flaws but none big enough to take away from the power of its message (unless you don't "get into" it and dismiss it all as sappiness that you've seen before-- which I would understand too). I personally got attached to the lead character's plight and enjoyed the darn thing. And you?
PS: Oh yeah, I also forgot to mention...HORRIBLE TITLE!!! (can you get any more generic???) They should have AT LEAST stuck with the film's original title of NAVY DIVER. MEN OF HONOR, who the fuck is gonna remember that?!?