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Friday, April 7, 2000
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Volume 65, Issue 128


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Rules of Engagement follows guidelines for an excellent film


Rules of Engagement

Paramount Pictures
Samuel L. Jackson, Tommy Lee Jones
MPAA Rating: R

Grade B+


By Brandon H. Franks
Daily Cougar Staff

Rules of Engagement from Paramount Pictures is a new twist on military court drama movies.

Hayes Hodges (Tommy Lee Jones) a Vietnam vet, goes up against the service to defend his long-time friend Col. Terry Childers (Samuel L. Jackson).


Rob McEwan/Paramount Pictures


Tommy Lee Jones stars in Rules of Engagement, an entertaining, engaging film in theaters today.

Childers is to be put on trial for a rescue mission that went very wrong. As Marines, the two have been through a lot, but as Hodges starts to defend his friend, he begins to doubt the very man who saved his life in Vietnam.

In the first half of the movie you don't quite know what to expect, an action flick or a courtroom drama. Further into the movie many things surface and you find that betrayal of the government isn't the only plot afoot.

The movie is a fast-paced and suspenseful ride of emotions. It makes you look at both sides and wonder if Childers really is guilty.

Jones actually has a smaller role than some are used to seeing him have. Still, he delivers a good performance as an investigative lawyer. 

Jackson has been better, but he has such a strong presence in the film that he's hard to ignore. This is actually a side of Jackson that none have seen. Jackson's role shows him as strong, but when all crumbles around him, he nearly falls apart. When he cries you'll believe it. The two actors together give a stirring performance.

Ben Kingsley (Ghandi) plays an American ambassador who believes his job to be higher than Childers, man who saved his life. Kingsley portrays a sniveling wimp.

Rules of Engagement is The Negotiator and A Few Good Men mixed together. It may not be a film for the whole family, but it's a good one, even for a date.

The switches back and forth from America to the incident are balanced and don't leave you needing to know anything else.

In a word, satisfying is how this movie will make you feel. The movie hits at every emotion, all the way up to the last minute. You actually witness how hard Marines come down on each other when not following the proper rules of engagement.

The cast is powerful and knows how to keep the attention of the audience.

Jackson and Jones make a great duo and should team up for more movies in the future. Not a sequel, but something at least. The chemistry is too good for them not to.
 

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