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I'm reviewing a film on DVD called GUILTY AS CHARGED.
(Not to be confused with a wrestling/fighting film of the same name).
Stars Antonio Sabato Jr, and James Remar (no, me neither).
Running time is 93 mins
John Murphy (Antonio Sabato) is an undercover soldier who works at seeking out the bad guys within the USA military and bringing them to justice at Courts Martial.
The film opens with him busting (literally at times) some bad guys who are selling Military goods .Then we see the trial/Court Martial of those same bad guys and one slimy no-good gets off on a technicality, much to Murphy's disgust.
Fast forward a few months and Murphy has been assigned the undercover task of investigating recent mysterious deaths at an Army camp at Fort Chaney. To do this he is enlisted as a new recruit, and sets about making himself a person of interest who can look after himself as regards hand to hand combat and who is worthy of trusting.
Murphy discovers that there is a clique/secret elite unit operating at the camp under the command of a rogue Colonel. If someone makes an error of any kind considered dangerous to his comrades,or if he insults certain people, then he is faced with a kangaroo court and 'sentenced' to be set loose in nearby countryside and hunted down by the members of this secret unit in a macabre chase to the death.
Murphy gets accepted by this unit, but at some point he encounters the 'baddie' who had been released after the unsuccessful Court Martial a few months earlier. The guy has had a run-in with members of this unit and has been brought before their kangaroo court to be judged and sentenced. He recognises Murphy, but luckily he is securely gagged and cannot reveal who Murphy really is. However, during the ensuing chase Murphy's cover gets blown and he becomes one of the men whose deaths he has been trying to investigate....used as a target in a violent game of cat and mouse where he is fighting for his life.
I should mention that there is a girl in the unit and she and Murphy indulge in exchanges of bodily fluids at one point , but nothing too graphic and not dwelt on too much .
It wasn't a great film,but it wasn't totally dire to someone like me used to TV movies and not a cinema fan following the latest fabulous blockbusters.
The story-line was not an entirely novel concept. There are quite a few films around where secret cliques operating within the Military are at the root of the story.
All in all it was watchable and the acting wasn't bad at all .
I never felt the urge to fast forward it at any point, and in fact I went back a couple of times to check some things out and re-watch scenes, so it held my interest to a degree and I was interested enough to want to see the outcome. Having said that ,I WAS something of a captive audience due to having no TV or internet for three days at the time, so possibly that needs to be factored in here.
I'd describe this as a "made for TV Film" and not something you should be devastated if you missed seeing it. A tidy, easy to follow story with a fair amount of action.
Would I recommend it ? No, not to buy at full price.....unless you are deeply into military based stories like this with lots of fighting within the groups of soldiers rather than on a battlefield .
It is selling on amazon new for £5.99 +£1.26 P&P .
Or, as "used" at 54p + £1.26 P&P.
I'll give it 3 stars because while it wasn't totally riveting it wasn't awful either and at no point did I feel the urge to turn it off.