Courage Under Fire

Tucson Weekly

DIRECTED BY: Edward Zwick

REVIEWED: 07-18-96

Meg Ryan and Denzel Washington star in this Roshomon-style tale of a fighter pilot being investigated to see if she deserves the Medal of Honor for her performance in Operation Desert Storm. Not only is the pilot a girl, but the stories of her surviving squad-mates don't match very well and Washington must work overtime to try to sort the mess out. What's more, the investigator has some skeletons to clean out of his own closet before he can bask in the hard, clear light of The Truth. The structure of this movie is interesting, but the content is sort of revolting. Washington is consumed with remorse for killing some of his men with friendly fire, but feels nothing but lasting jingoistic triumph over blowing away scads of faceless Iraqis, whom he also refers to as "fuckers." If the thought of the strongest army in the world crushing a much weaker force in order to protect its economic interests strikes you as heroic, buy a ticket and have your patriotic chain yanked.

--Stacey Richter

Other Films by Edward Zwick
Legends of the Fall
The Siege

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