John Travolta as John Hardy
Samuel Jackson as Sgt. Nathan West
Connie Nielsen as Lt. Julia Osburne
Giovanni Ribisi as Kendall
Taye Diggs as Pike
Harry Connick Jr. Colonel Bill Styles
Timothy Daly as Pete Wilmer
Brian Van Holt as Dunbar
When a hard-nosed Special Forces leader (Jackson) is presumed murdered by his own troops in Panama, interrogator Tom Hardy (Travolta) is asked to help with the investigation.
Although the story is so twisted and convoluted that you can hardly stand it, it still keeps you guessing till the end. Therefore you don’t get bored. Also, the acting by Travolta is better than usual, but that is not saying much.
The problem with a story like this is that they don’t want you to be able to guess it, so they make it completely insane. Although I wanted to figure out the puzzle – the pieces never fit together correctly. By the end I just sat there and thought “OK, I kind of get it, but do I care?” The answer is no. I realize that Hollywood loves to make movies that keep you guessing, but this is like watching someone playing charades without a clue of what the object is they are describing.
I must also say that the typically sound actress Connie Nielsen has an inconsistent southern accent that will grate on your nerves. One minute she sounds English, the next minute she sounds like Scarlett on “Gone with the Wind”. It’s enough to make your ears bleed.
Rule one of a good murder mystery is to have the mystery make some sense, and this one fails to use that “Basic” rule.