Ridley Scott’s G.I. JANE
Demi Moore is one furious female in G.I. Jane! After making his ‘women fighting back’ film Thelma and Louise, Ridley Scott decided to tell the story of another rebellious gal and it ended up being one of my personal favorite films from his entire filmography. Lt. Jordan O’ Neill (Demi Moore), a Navy intel specialist is chosen to be the first female to try out for the secret ops Navy SEAL program. Her CO is Command Master Chief John James Urgayle (Viggo Mortensen) who let’s O’Neill and her fellow officers know right off they have just entered the ninth gate of hell and he plans to give them a guided tour. Urgayle is a supreme bad-ass but his assistant instructors are even more brutal than he is and show no mercy.
One aspect about the film that’s especially interesting is you get an inside look at what it’s like to go through SEAL training, (it’s most likely even worse in real life). The torturous methods the SEALs implement to weed out the weak recruits creates the heightened drama and action in the film. In a classic bit of method acting, Demi Moore actually shaved her head on camera to the sound of The Pretenders song “The Homecoming” which really accentuates her character’s determination. With her new buzz cut, Jordan proves she’s not only tough enough to make it into the SEALs but that she’s one of the best soldiers they have. On her tough as nails journey, she’s got to contend with the issue of sexism coming from her superiors and fellow officers, like the cigar chomping Captain Salem (Scott Wilson) and a jarheaded goon named Slovnik (Jim Caviezel). Viggo Mortensen’s Master Chief Urgayle showcases another great chameleon like performance. His character is both an old school alpha male but behind the scenes has an honest compassion for Lt. O’Neill’s plight. While Jordan overcomes the brutal probationary period of the SEALs and succeeds at her goal, Senator DeHaven (Anne Bancroft) who gave her the opportunity to be in the SEALs in the first place tries to undermine her efforts by bringing in trumped up charges that she’s a lesbian so she’ll be forced to resign. Jordan then fights against her and proves that she’s no quitter or patsy. For me this is one of Demi Moore’s best performances/films of her career. It’s a highly charged action film meets female empowerment tale that also turns out to ultimately be a ‘feel good’ movie!