Spartan (2004)

What a strange movie.

I’m wondering if I maybe just don’t like Mamet movies?

I think you have to be really sick of popular movies to like them.  “Oh yeah, that stilted conversation is so minimalistic.”  “Oh yeah, the barely explained plot points are totally intentional and AWESOME!”  “Oh yeah, that shitty ending must have been crucially significant.”

People put this on their list of spy movies but I don’t get it.  Military intelligence was probably involved and the CIA and FBI etc. etc.  Scott is affiliated with Delta Force and the Rangers but not intelligence.  Yes, he can pull off covert paramilitary operations but this movie never really felt spy movie but more like conspiracy theory secret military action movie.  I like Val Kilmer and would love to say that this movie doesn’t make him look like a bad actor – it’s safe to blame this one on script and direction.  It was certainly an action/political thriller and the premise was amazing with poor execution.

Kristen Bell was fantastic and at points it felt vaguely believable in some of the simplified action.  Unfortunately it seemed like Mamet was using his considerable talents to intentionally make a bad movie out of a good one.

It’s conflicting.