Sunday, May 09, 2010

Movie Log: The Pentagon Wars

The Pentagon Wars did what few movies have: moved me to say a sentence I'd never dreamed of before. Unfortunately, in this case, the sentence was "I do not want to see Kelsey Grammer wipe his ass." Luckily, I didn't see that. But it was a close thing.

Pentagon Wars is the story of the creation of the Army's Bradley Fighting Vehicle, set mostly in the mid-80s. (The movie itself was made, for HBO, in the late '90s, and occasionally looks TV-movie-ish.) Cary Elwes is the smart and dedicated Air Force officer -- in charge of the testing of the Bradley for complicated checks-and-balances Pentagon reasons -- and Grammer is the tough-talking Army General who's trying to ram it through.

The point is, of course, that the Pentagon's procurement system is horribly broken and cartoonishly lousy, and Pentagon Wars eventually gets there. It does start very slowly, though, with a good twenty minutes of men in crisp uniforms saluting each other and looking at things before anything funny (or more than vaguely interesting) begins. Pentagon Wars does get quite funny as it goes -- and only horrifying for brief seconds, as with Grammer on the can -- but it feels even older than it is; it's an artifact of the Cold War-era military, where everything seemed further away and less serious.
Listening to: Harley Poe - It's Only The End Of The World (Live)
via FoxyTunes

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