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Feb. 3, 2006

Nothing good in "Annapolis"

by Hokuma Karimova, Foreign Desk Editor
A military movie, based off of "An Officer and a Gentleman," that contains lots of action and suspense could potentially be enjoyable. But that is not the case for "Annapolis." The only hits in this movie are the punches that Jake Huard (James Franco) throws as he fights to achieve his goal of becoming a Navy officer.
James Franco stars as an inspiring plebe to Tyrese Gibson's Lt. Cole in the new military flick.
James Franco stars as an inspiring plebe to Tyrese Gibson's Lt. Cole in the new military flick.

Directed by Justin Lin, "Annapolis" follows a kid from a blue-collar family who wants to become a navy officer in order to fulfill a promise he made to his mother before her death.

Jake, a C-average student, who works for his father, Bill Huard (Brian Goodman) building navy ships, is given a chance to enter the Naval Academy at Annapolis, after a last minute opening.

Thanks to Lieutenant Commander Burton (Donnie Wahlberg), who spotted Jake at a local boxing match, he gets into the academy but quickly realizes that his acceptance into the academy was the easy part; it is surviving the academy that turns out to be the challenge. But not to worry, with a gorgeous midshipman, Ali (Jordana Brewster), cheering him on, and a roommate, Twins (Vicellous Reon Shannon), who supports him by offering lots of sweets, Jake is bound to get into the Navy's boxing championship, known as the Brigade Championships.

By getting into the championship Jake can settle his ongoing dispute with his head midshipman L.L. Cole (Tyrese Gibson), which has been brewing ever since he got into the academy, and disliked the harsh treatment of the new plebes. Getting into the championship will not only enable Jake to face Cole, but provide him with a chance to prove that he is a worthy plebe.

While the movie is called "Annapolis," the idea of a navy with tough love and fighting for the country lives only in the movie's tagline, which reads: "50,000 Apply. 1,200 Are Accepted. Only The Best Survive."

The real theme of this military movie, however, is boxing. From the beginning of the film, when Jake fights in a local match, until the end, when he faces his arch-enemy, Cole, at the Brigade Championship, boxing seems to be the string that holds the movie together.

Lack of real military presence in the movie is also evident in the film's location, Princeton University's campus. Other scenes use computer-generated images that take away from the movie's reality. Seeing the same two settings, the campus and Huard's home across the river, gets very tiresome.

With such mediocre acting, the only above average performance is from Gibson, for his performance as a strict midshipman, and Franco, for being a plebe who never gives up.

Sadly, the only message this military movie sends is that boxing is the key to being the best - making this movie a big joke.

"Annapolis" (108 minutes) is rated PG-13 for some violence, sexual content and language.

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  • JF4ever on February 3, 2006 at 5:52 PM
    can we look beyond the movie's sucky script and plotline and focus on James Franco's glorious body? In that respect, it was an amazing movie and deserves two thumbs up, maybe even an oscar nomination.
  • mm mm. on February 4, 2006 at 9:36 AM
    yum, james franco.
  • hey now on February 4, 2006 at 12:54 PM
    "Big Mamma's House" was "Annapolis's" Mississippi.

    The one and only funny line from this movie.
  • whyme (View Email) on May 18, 2006 at 4:14 PM
    what did this quote mean?
    friends are calling me mississippi...dont know why..tell me please!?
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