The Inspection by Elegance Bratton [5/10]

We don’t view films in a vacuum. I always stress to my fellow movie club members that one assessment category has to be the movie’s themes/ideas as input to the viewing. Some of us adore movies about heavy metal, others swoon over opera, and the reverse is also true. Thus “The Inspection,” structurally and dramatically sound, flopped for me because its subject matter revolted. Jeremy Pope is stellar as a young, down-and-out gay black man who unexpectedly aspires to become a U.S. Marine by undergoing that institution’s notorious “boot camp,” with its hazing and brutality. Nothing about the treatment of the young hopeful was any surprise to me and I could barely put up with all the ritualized, monstrous inhumanity designed to turn young men and women into unthinking killing machines. Apparently inspired by his own life, director/writer Elegance Bratton presents the godawful tale in all its savage glory, one that, in the end (and grotesquely, in my view) glorifies the rite of passage provided by the Marines. Sure-footed and atmospherically filmed, The Inspection has the hallmarks of a fine film, but I, for one, despised it.

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