Release Date: January 27, 2006
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Distributor: Touchstone Pictures/Buena Vista/Walt Disney Company
Director: Justin Lin
Executive Producer: Steve Nicolaides
Producer: Damien Saccani and Mark Vahradian
Writer: Dave Collard
Address Comments To:Robert Iger, CEO
Buena Vista Distribution Co.
(Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures)
Dick Cook, Chairman
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
Phone: (818) 560-1000
Jake, played by James Franco, grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. His father thinks he has no future. He works in the shipyard with his father, gets drunk and participates in shipyard boxing matches. His mother died when he was young. The dream he shared with his mother when they looked across the river at the Annapolis Naval Academy was for him to graduate from that august institution.
One day, the day before freshman class starts, an officer from Annapolis informs Jake that he has been accepted because a place opened up in the class. Jake quickly finds out that Annapolis is almost more than expected. When he doesn’t pull his weight, his whole team suffers. Everyone gets down on him, except the officer who recruited him and a beautiful midshipwoman named Ali.
They get him involved in the most important sporting event at the Academy, the Brigade Championships. His goal is to take revenge on the tough marine officer, Midshipman Lt. Cole, who has made life almost impossible for him. Cole is the best boxer and quite a bit bigger than Jake.
In the process of growing up and learning how to become a man, Jake learns perseverance, commitment, loyalty, and the other virtues, especially honesty. When one roommate tells a little white lie, he is booted from the Academy. Thus, the values taught in ANNAPOLIS are the cardinal virtues. They are taught in a dramatic framework, which makes you root for the hero to acquire these values. Bad is bad, and good is good.
Although there is a love interest, there is no sex. Although the boxing scenes are violent and one cadet tries to commit suicide, there are no brutal scenes and the cadet lives. Under the surface of the story, therefore, is a persistent, strong current of righteousness.
Contrary to what really goes on in the military and in America, there are very few nods to religion in ANNAPOLIS, except by some of the black plebes. There is foul language, but not as extreme as AN OFFICER AND A GENTELEMAN. The movie of course is reminiscent of other military movies, but James Franco brings all the elements together to give it heart and soul. ANNAPOLIS is not a great movie, but it’s a good entertainment that is worthwhile enjoying with the next generation.
In the process of learning how to become a man, Jake learns perseverance, commitment, loyalty, and the other virtues. Thus, the values taught in ANNAPOLIS are the cardinal virtues. They are taught in a dramatic framework, which makes you root for the hero to acquire these values. Bad is bad, and good is good. The movie is nothing new, but James Franco brings all the elements together to give it heart and soul. ANNAPOLIS contains some foul language and boxing violence so caution is advised.