Boot Camp (2009) - Unrated

Genre(s): Drama
MGM || Unrated - 99 minutes - $26.98 || August 25, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-08-25


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Christian Duguay
Writer(s): Agatha Dominik and John Cox (written by)
Cast: Mila Kunis, Gregory Smith, Peter Stormare


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
    None


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: NA

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.::THE FILM::.

Boot Camp is an inspired by true events kind of movie surrounding rehabilitation programs where troubled teens are shipped to a camp and are subsequently abused and brainwashed. The movie centers on Sophie (Mila Kunis), a teen girl who stirs up a confrontation in front of her family, accusing her stepfather of molesting her (along with other self destructive behavior). She is also in love with her boyfriend, Ben (Gregory Edward Smith), and wants to marry him.

Then Sophie is suddenly taken away (i.e. kidnapped) by members of ASAP – Advanced Serenity Achievement Program – to Fiji and put through physically and mentally excruciating exercises all in the name of breaking old habits and starting a new life. Some members of ASAP have been in the program for two years or more, moving up the ladder in the form of colored t-shirts that signifies internal growth and more responsibility.

Boot Camp isn’t a great drama but it does feature some half-decent performances especially from Mila Kunis and even unknown Gregory Smith who channels his inner James McAvoy. The story doesn’t hold up too well throughout and the ending, while very satisfying in a Hollywood kind of way, was a bit too neatly wrapped up for my taste.

Overall, on the surface, the movie presents an interesting subject matter rarely touched upon in Hollywood, but rather than perhaps making a movie that is based on a true story, they instead turned it into a melodrama that never fully gets going. I will give it props for Mila Kunis’ fine, though forgettable, performance but outside of that, this is one film you can skip, unfortunately since I had higher hopes.

The film was helmed by Canadian director Christian Duguay whose previous works include 2000’s The Art of War along with several TV or direct-to-video projects. Duguay doesn’t present much of an atmosphere for the picture, just some storm clouds early on, so not much of a visual flair to help out where the story faulters. Speaking of which, the screenplay was written by Agatha Dominik (Human Trafficking) and John Cox (debut).



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Other than some previews for other MGM movies, no features have been included.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The screener we received is watermarked and is pixilated so when final product is sent, this section will be updated.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is alright, though uneven. The sound of crashing waves doesn’t hold much impact while some of the dialogue isn’t as clear as it could’ve been (probably a result of filming on the Fiji beaches).



.::OVERALL::.

Boot Camp certainly has an interesting premise but the execution was far from flawless. On the positive side, Mila Kunis shows she can hold her own so it will be interesting to see her in future projects with better scripts and/or direction than what she has done lately.