Count a Lonely Cadence
Time Out says'He's an intelligent enough kid, just lacks discipline'. With these words still ringing in his ears, Charlie Sheen is summarily despatched to the US Army, and before you can say AWOL has taken up a 90-day lease in the stockade. The camp commander, a strict disciplinarian, is Martin Sheen, but this displaced father-son conflict turns out to be only one aspect of the story. The bulk of the screen time is devoted to Charlie and the other five prisoners, all of whom are black. The progression from mutual suspicion to friendship may not be revelatory, but the performances (Fishburne, Stewart, Beach) are lively and Sheen's direction assured. If there's something a mite patronising about the 'colourful' soul-patrol antics, the movie comes as near as dammit to acknowledging, at the close, the gulf that still divides the races, and that's a surprise in this eminently liberal work. On the down side, there's no real feel for period (the mid-'60s), and that dull Sheen psychodrama doesn't go away.