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GI Jane

Year: 1993
Studio: Hollywood Pictures
Director: Ridley Scott
Producer: Ridley Scott/Demi Moore/Suzanne Todd/Roger Birnbaum
Writer: David Twohy
Cast: Demi Moore, Viggo Mortensen, James Caviezel, Anne Bancroft, Morris Chestnut
The film that's considered Ridley Scott's least effective (until the genre abortion of 2006's A Good Year). Taking his signature masculine/military swagger and putting it squarely on Demi Moore's shoulders to make a feminist statement was a bold step in constant danger of tipping over into stupidity - and the shaven-headed, buffed-up Demi frequently does.

Ironically, it is a stark comment on gender relations as much as Thelma and Louise. One only has to watch the snippets of wisdom about the place of women in society, such as when - bloodied and beaten from her training - Jordan (Moore) is in the women's room of the bar where she's drinking with her squad buddies and is told by a passing lady 'it ain't none of my business, but I'd leave the bastard'.

Part action thriller, part equality requiem, it depicts a young female radar operator for a SEAL team who gets the opportunity to become one, championed by a wily senator (Bancroft) with a political stake.

Jordan goes through the same brutal boot camp her fellow (male) trainees do, keeping pace with them and with twice the battle to fight to be accepted, only to discover she was a political stooge the whole time.

Plenty of shots of Demi doing one-handed push ups, sweating profusely and baring her teeth in agony typify the macho militarism throughout the movie, and she fleshes out the role that many people found ridiculous and cemented her reputation as an excessive Hollywood personality, by confronting lines like 'Suck my dick' and the various 'challenges' to our preconceptions of gender.

Full of army movie bravado and icons, from the quitting bell to the icy tough drill sergeant (Mortensen), it's well done throughout and has all Scott's technical expertise, but it wears its intentions a little too plainly on its sleeve and sometimes feels preachy. A less effective statement than Thelma and Louise but with themes still worthy of discussion around a dinner table or a lecture theatre over 10 years later.

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