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Awesome: 7.97%
Worth A Look: 22.46%
Just Average: 26.81%
Pretty Crappy: 14.49%

13 reviews, 60 user ratings

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General's Daughter, The
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by Charles Tatum

1 stars

In order to fully discuss everything that is wrong with this film, and there is quite a lot, I am warning you that many spoilers are on the horizon of this review.

John Travolta is an undercover military cop who is investigating the rape and murder of an Army officer, who happens to be the daughter of an Army general who is being considered as a vice-presidential running mate. Travolta is stuck with rape expert Madeleine Stowe, who happens to be a former lover. Trouble right there already. Travolta is pressured by the general (James Cromwell) and his aide (a very unmilitary looking Clarence Williams III) to hurry the investigation along before the FBI is brought in. Among the suspects are creepy James Woods as the daughter's commander, the general's aide, and the local hick sheriff's son.

The daughter, it turns out, liked her sex a little rough, and kept video recordings of it. Travolta, who briefly met the daughter while he was undercover as a hick sergeant, takes the case personally. Timothy Hutton plays the military police commander who helps Travolta and Stowe along with their investigation.

While not covering everything in this convoluted plot, it turns out that the daughter was raped while at West Point, and general daddy covered it up because it would ruin the idea of women in the military, and West Point's reputation. The daughter decides to recreate the rape for her father to let him know what she lived through, and was murdered by someone unknown after her father left the awkward confrontation.

Travolta and Stowe stumble across more suspects than a two hour "Murder, She Wrote" reunion movie, yet find time to trade verbal love barbs that sound like rejected lines never uttered by Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in "His Girl Friday." The condescending attitude these two have toward military life is staggering. Woods' character points this out, and is promptly murdered for it. Finally, the climax reveals the killer, and everything is wrapped up in a neat little package.

First, a positive: Simon West's direction is great. He finds little things to focus his camera on, and his editing is quick without inducing a headache. It would be interesting to see what he would do with a script that doesn't play like it was written on a dinner napkin.

The negatives? Here goes. This film hates women and hates the military and really hates women in the military. All the officers are psychopathic sexual sadists and the non-commissioned officers are stupid hicks. Just because the film takes place in Virginia, does not mean that all stationed military personnel there will have a southern accent. I lived at RAF Mildenhall, England for six months, yet did not come back to the states and call everyone either "bloke" or "gov'ner." Travolta and Stowe, amongst their cutesy bantering, break almost every evidence and interrogation law known to man, just because they are the cool hero couple. A subplot involving Travolta's run-ins with the local hick sheriff is embarassing. After Travolta kills a gun runner with a motorboat (don't ask), he gets uppity with the local police, who understandably have questions. Travolta's arrogance wears thin very quickly.

Suggesting the daughter was raped at West Point, then martyred herself to cover up this fact is ridiculous. The film says, "women should be in the military, but they are being stopped by these fictional characters in this fictional situation." The three star general, who does nothing more than sit in his office and smoke all day, also puts the army ahead of his home life. The scene where he finds his daughter after she has reenacted her earlier rape is embarrassing as a viewer, and looks embarrassing to the actors. It should have been embarrassing to the writers and director, but apparently they decided to leave their scruples at home that day.

In the end, the killer offs themselves with a landmine, which apparently any active duty personnel can attain. The general is court-martialled for his role in his daughter's victimization, and Travolta wins. God bless our armed forces.

This film came out during the eight year reign of the Clintons, who had never been friends of the military. Maybe this is why people saw this and thought nothing of it. I, on the other hand, was an Air Force brat most of my life, and I still want someone to show me the mansions the officers live in, the sexual depravity that they must exhibit, and the civilians who do not get along with anyone else in uniform. That's right, 99.9% of everything that happens in this film would not happen in real life.

I am aware that this is a story, not a documentary, but some semblance of fact would help. Incredible leaps in logic are not dealt with, just accepted. The only two actresses here are raped, or threatened with rape.

If anything, considering the current political and military climate, this film should make anyone who ever had a loved one serve overseas sick. In Hollywood, it is always popular to trash the military, it has been since Vietnam, but I for one am not going to take it any longer. My father defended this country for almost thirty years, from Thailand to Okinawa to the U.S. to England, and in my eyes he will always stand a little taller than a bunch of whiny liberal actors all dressed up in camoflauge and thrusting their nutty agenda on an unsuspecting nation.

I get off my soapbox and give a one finger salute to this stupid, wretched, sleazy film.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=2052&reviewer=325
originally posted: 02/25/03 14:11:12
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User Comments

9/06/14 Vinnie Jackson Rob Gonsalves is a stupid idiot! This movie and its book are great! 5 stars
6/26/11 art a great mystery,Leslie Stefanson was Outstanding! 4 stars
6/04/10 User Name An unengaging thriller. 2 stars
7/31/08 Annie viewed US on release. Australia when released. & the Rooster Crowed She Lied. Still awesome 4 stars
2/11/07 johnnyfog Ludicrous. Liked James Woods though 1 stars
3/25/06 R.W.Welch Cast does what it can with overblown, improbable whodunnit. 3 stars
3/11/06 Dillon Superbly acted with smart and snappy dialogue 4 stars
3/09/06 Dk Ok ish but never great 2 stars
12/05/05 J.D. Pittman III Travolta isn't bad. The whole movie put me on the edge of my seat/couch. 4 stars
8/16/05 ES Boring and bad, Mr. travolta you've done it again 1 stars
12/06/03 john well... it's absolutely terrible 1 stars
2/25/03 y2mckay Travolta a flabby mess, Stowe could be replaced by a mannequin. TG'sD had a nice rack tho! 2 stars
7/03/02 KMG It was boring. Travolta is getting old, pasty, and flabby. Fatigues can't hide that. 3 stars
5/21/02 Karen Moore John Travolta kicks ass! Too bad ass can't kick back! 1 stars
4/29/02 Francis How could they make such a mess of what should have been a really good story? 3 stars
1/31/02 Andrew Carden Travolta's Performance Is Stylish and Realistic. 4 stars
1/26/02 Lin Rainey Dark, moody..I liked it. Woods excellent as always. 4 stars
12/11/01 Charles Tatum Incompetent and offensive 1 stars
9/29/01 I'm just a random whore Fuck me 5 stars
6/18/01 Rampage i wll destroy anyone associated with this dipshit, including Blockbuster Video 1 stars
6/14/01 Law Firm of Dewey, Cheatam & Howe Hope actors hated making it, cuz I sure hated watching it! 1 stars
5/28/01 sharkey Cliche-a-rama! I just saw it for the first time, and I could recite the script with it. 1 stars
4/01/01 Jesse L I liked the opening theme song. the rest was junk. 2 stars
3/22/01 Aruba Jon How can John T. have a southern accent when he's suppose to be from Boston 4 stars
7/14/00 Kakki Rainy/Snow day movie. Suspense and weird turn in the movie 4 stars
7/07/00 Terrie Smith Not a bad film for a rainy afternoon. Best performance comes from James Woods. 4 stars
4/09/00 EMagGaRony decent movie... 4 stars
3/18/00 Jed Travolta & woods save this from becoming trash. 2 stars
11/11/99 Chef ADogg Travolta filmed this right after playing Fat Bastard in AP2. 1 stars
11/10/99 ikkemotube woods is ok, travolta is a whitetrashsweatingbuda 3 stars
10/28/99 Bozo Nothing special and leaves a bad taste in your mouth - good perf by Woods, though 2 stars
10/20/99 H'Woodbigshot Hoolywood and the military, need any more be said? 1 stars
9/24/99 Costars Great performance by James Wood 3 stars
9/10/99 Timbo MEDIOCRE 3 stars
9/05/99 Weird Andy A waste of celluloid. Great music, though. 2 stars
8/26/99 Ami the Wonderbread Straight to cable fair 2 stars
8/14/99 Keith Aside from the tied up naked bitch this film is garbage. 1 stars
8/12/99 Steve Kelley John Travolta has become his own caricature. His only hope is Kotter: The Movie. 3 stars
8/02/99 beachlovr9 Very good movie and excellent acting 5 stars
8/01/99 JimBob a good piece of film until you find out it's for real, then it kicks ass 5 stars
7/31/99 Obi Wan A decent flick...good seeing Madelaine again..But an HBO Movie defn8ly 3 stars
7/26/99 David Kindred Travolta has some good lines. Don't think, just watch. 3 stars
7/22/99 Suzz spotted the killer the first time he appeared on screen. HO HUM .. 3 stars
7/18/99 jlgallardo If you like faces of death, you'll love this movie. 2 stars
7/16/99 Keith One more like this Travolta and you'll be doing "Welcome Back Kotter" reunion specials. 2 stars
7/03/99 dbx i liked it. i dont see how you can enjoy southpark, and then critiscize this. 5 stars
6/29/99 PhilmPhreak Made me want to tie myself to the ground and cry for daddy. 2 stars
6/28/99 kevin wood I read the book. It was great. The movie was kind of sleazy and nasty. 2 stars
6/28/99 Freyja Sick and voyeuristic, under a very thin varnish of nobility. 2 stars
6/27/99 Chris Gianaras Decent military thriller that gets bogged down at the end in a disappointing ending. 3 stars
6/26/99 Bram Bleich Entertaining (7) 4 stars
6/25/99 Dave Should be called the Swiss Cheese 2 stars
6/23/99 Rob The book was a lot better 3 stars
6/23/99 Tim very disappointed.... 1 stars
6/23/99 jvt I've never seen a movie with more helicopters in it 3 stars
6/21/99 Softserve Not bad. Best scene of a person getting blown up, ever! 4 stars
6/18/99 Mr Showbiz This lurid, misogynistic thriller doesn't even manage to be a guilty pleasure. 1 stars
6/18/99 Darrell Louder This movie was incredible, though lacking in the character development area, it is good 4 stars
6/15/99 David Awful, cliched story given some directorial flair & good perfs, but not enough to recommend 1 stars
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  18-Jun-1999 (R)
  DVD: 14-Dec-1999



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