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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 desdemona

"I really couldn't care less about the general's daughter."
3 stars

The General's Daughter built itself up to be some high-tech thriller/mystery twisted-sick-insane movie, but it was really a movie about uncaring fathers and the plights of women in the military.

I hate to trivialize the plights of women in the military like that, but I'll be honest: I was expecting something quite different than what I got from this movie.

The General's Daughter is about the murder of Captain Elisabeth Campbell (Leslie Stefanson), the general's daughter, and how everyone close to her seems to want to cover it up. Detective-soldier Paul Brennen (John Travolta) works very hard to uncover the truth of her death, along with the help of his ex-lover (which is apparently completely irrelevant information) and rape counselor Sarah Sunhill (Madeline Stowe). You see, the general's daughter was strangled while she was tied down naked and spread-eagle, a position that would point towards a rape/murder but (surprise!) there was no rape involved. So why was she killed, and why was she killed in that particular significant position? Well, that's what the audience is supposed to care about, anyway. And it is an intriguing story. At first.

At first the murder seems to be some big military cover-up headed by Elisabeth's father General Joseph Campbell (James Cromwell) with some dark, highly incriminating secret behind it. And that's sort of what it was, I suppose. But not really.

First what the investigators must do is figure out Elisabeth's dark secret. Why all the hidden S and M paraphenalia in her basement? And why does someone seem so desperate to cover that up, along with the secret that Elisabeth was sleeping with almost every soldier under her father's command? Well, one thing leads to another and Paul and Sarah find out that something unimaginably terrible happened to Elisabeth in her past that in some way involved her father and the military, and that is what led to all her reckless behavior. But I'm not going to spoil that surprise for you; it was the only truly interesting thing in this entire movie.

So after Paul and Sarah uncover the mystery of Elisabeth the Living, We the Audience get plunged back into the mystery of Elisabeth's death, which frankly is losing it's value as an attention-grabber. So we're back in the endless loop of questions: why was she killed, why was she killed, and why was she killed. After awhile, you just stop caring.

Then, finally, all the questions are answered. Now, I don't want to spoil that wonderful ending for you, but let me just say this much: isn't the jealous boyfriend thing a little overdone? Don't worry, I didn't give away anything--this little lassie had a lot of boyfriends.

In short, the story within the story was highly intriguing, not to mention completely horrifying in all its atrocities and sexist hate-crimes. One must feel genuine pity for Elisabeth and genuine hatred for her monstrous father. Unfortunately, that story was not THE story and we had to deal with the utter pointlessness of the rest of the movie.

But I will give The General's Daughter one thing: there is some really great acting to be seen in this movie. In fact, the acting was really the saving grace of this movie. John Travolta was an excellent good guy with a quick tongue; Madeline Stowe was a great empowered female with brains to beat all the boys; James Cromwell played his part of hateable bastard perfectly; and James Woods (who played Robert Moore, a close friend of Elisabeth's) was a totally believable sarcastic, quick-witted, loyal man with a dark secret. I was also very impressed by Leslie Stefanson, even though she didn't have that large a role. In her brief performances, the pain and the hate that Elisabeth HAD to feel were obvious in Leslie's body language, facial expressions, voice inflections, and line delivery. That's pretty good for someone most people have never even heard of before. I look forward to seeing her in some larger roles in the future.

But despite all the great performances, the plot still left something to be desired.

The book was probably better.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=2052&reviewer=86
originally posted: 07/17/99 00:20:24
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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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