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Monday, March 31, 2008

Joe's Review: Stop Loss

ShowHype: hype it up!
I'm going to admit, I wasn't a huge fan of this movie coming into it. In fact, one of the only reasons why I saw it was because my lovely girlfriend wanted to see it. Having not seen Boys Don't Cry, I didn't really know what to expect from director Kimberly Peirce. (Weird spelling of Peirce, I keep thinking it's wrong, but that's what the bible, IMDB has.) Anyway, after having seen Stop Loss, I can honestly say that I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was a pretty moving story, obviously conveying a strong message.

For those who have no idea what this movie is about, a little background for you. Stop Loss is the story of 4 friends from Texas who have enlisted in the army to defend our country against the insurgents in Iraq. Brandon King (played by the surprisingly impressive Ryan Phillipe), is their leader, the one who always keeps em in check. Also starring Joseph Gordon-Leavitt, Channing Tatum, and Rob Brown.

The movie opens with the crew in Iraq, performing their duties at a military checkpoint. As they examine the cars that head to their post, they are suddenly attacked by a car full of insurgents. Quickly taking action, they pursue them, unknowingly being led into an ambush. After the losss of several of his men, Brandon has to go in and save his best friend Steve (Channing Tatum), who has gone in too far for his own good. The battle leaves one of his men permanently disabled, but many of them escape. It turns out to be a day that King will never forget after he returns home.

The four friends return home to a Hero's welcome in Texas, earning their honors and the respect of everyone in their town. They celebrate their return, but the good times are short lived. The war has taken it's toll on the boys, as they face night terrors and the re-adjustment to a more normal life. It's something they welcome though, as Steve and Brandon are on their way out of the military for good, they have served their time.

Brandon soon finds that this is not the case, as he has been "Stop Lossed". While he is expecting to be released, the Army has other plans for him, and set him to be shipped out at the end of the month. King is not pleased at all, knowing that going back to Iraq is something he just doesn't want to do again. He has served his time, and doesn't feel that he needs to go back. He goes AWOL, and travels to Washington to try to call on a favor of a state senator he hopes will be able to stop his order to head back to Iraq.

You'll have to watch the movie to find out what happens, but I can say that there are quite a few more things that happen in the movie. It really explores every character fairly well. You can sympathize with them as they experience the difficulties of going to war, and in some cases, heading back to war. The impact that it has on their families is incredible, giving it an extra "real" feel. I definitely recommend this movie whether you support the war or not. It's a really good story.

A 7.8 out of 10 for this one, only because it has some plot holes that could have been filled up (but it's ok that they didn't). If you've seen it (or plan to see or not see it), please comment! If you've got a review you'd like me to link to, please feel free to leave it in a comment and I'll update the post with it!

Also a reminder again that Hell's Kitchen is tomorrow! My DVR is already all set to record all the episodes this season... I can't wait!!!!

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