‘The Inspection’ review: In strong boot-camp drama, a gay man finds purpose in the Marines


Ellis (Jeremy Pope) tries to win the approval of his mother (Gabrielle Union) in “The Inspection.”

A24

It’s impossible not to think of military training camp staples such as “Full Metal Jacket” and “An Officer and a Gentlemen” when experiencing writer-director Elegance Bratton’s semi-autobiographical “The Inspection.” While Bratton’s film isn’t in the same league as those classics, it’s a strong and memorable if predictable boot-camp journey that features many of the same elements of the first half of “Jacket” and the entirety of “Gentleman” — most notably in that all three films feature an alpha male drill instructor who will either defeat his recruits and send them home, or turn them into lean mean fighting machines.

What makes “Inspection” unique is that its troubled but determined recruit is a 25-year-old gay man who by his own admission has wandered without direction through life for the last many years and has joined the Marines during the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” era in 2005 as a last-ditch effort to make something of himself and find a purpose in this world.

Jeremy Pope gives a searing performance as Ellis, who visits his estranged mother, Inez (Gabrielle Union), in her apartment so he can get his birth certificate and enlist. Inez works for the Department of Corrections, and it’s a toss-up as to which part of her life she finds more wearying, her job or coming home to her small and closed-off life. She has essentially disowned her son because she finds his “choice” to be gay utterly repugnant, and our hearts break when we see how desperate Ellis is to win his mother’s approval, even though he knows deep down it’s never coming.

‘The Inspection’

…read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

      

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *