Cynical Stoicism Prevails
Release Date: March 12, 2004
Starring: Val Kilmer, Derek Luke, Tia
Texada, William H. Macy, Ed
O’Neill, and Kristen Bell
Genre: Spy Thriller
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 106 minutes
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Director: David Mamet
Linson, Moshe Diamant, Elie
Samaha, and David Bergstein
Producer: Art Linson, Moshe Diamant,
Elie Samaha, and David
Bergstein EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS:
Frank Huebner, Tracee Stanley,
and James Holt
Writer: David Mamet
BASED ON THE
NOVEL/PLAY BY: N/A
Address Comments To:Barry M. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
Warner Bros., Inc.
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000
GENRE: Spy Thriller
The movie opens with Robert Scott, a career military man involved in covert ops, training a black Marine named Curtis, who wants to join the elite espionage corps. When Scott is recruited to find the President’s missing daughter, Laura, his superiors pair him with Curtis.
The naiveté of his partner and the political ambitions of his superiors complicate the mission, which may involve an Arab white slavery ring that unknowingly picked up Laura, who, on a whim, has died her hair blonde. The clandestine mission comes to an abrupt end when the news media issues reports of the girl’s death.
Scott returns to his quiet life as a rural landowner, until Curtis convinces him that there’s some kind of conspiracy and that the President’s daughter may still be alive, but may be abandoned by the political handlers surrounding the President. The conspiracy eventually forces Scott underground. Relying on his survival techniques and his stoic military training, Scott secretly travels to the Middle East to rescue the girl and bring her home. If, that is, the girl still wants to come home.
Corruption in high places is the main theme of this sometimes exciting movie. The motives of the characters are a little too murky at times, although there are some allegorical Christian references associated with the movie’s stoic hero. These references don’t lead to a positive redemptive conclusion, however. In the last shot of the movie, the hero, Scott, seems to have taken on a rather cynical attitude about what he has just experienced.
Taken as a whole, then, the movie’s worldview is a cynical, conspiratorial one that seems a bit humanist. It also seems to contain politically correct undercurrents with apparent anti-American feelings about the government’s fight against terrorism and a cynical view of presidential politics that may be a slam against President George Bush.
SPARTAN also has some very strong foul language, strong borderline action violence with point blank shootings and rough martial arts action, and references to Arabian slave traders and presidential infidelity. SPARTAN warrants extreme caution.
Corruption in high places is the main theme of this sometimes exciting movie. The motives of the characters are a little too murky at times, although there are some allegorical Christian references associated with the movie’s stoic hero. These references don’t lead to a positive redemptive conclusion, however. Instead, the movie’s worldview seems to be a cynical humanist one, with some politically correct anti-American undertones. The movie also contains very strong foul language, strong borderline action violence, and brief, but mostly light, sexual references. SPARTAN warrants extreme caution.