The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

WEEKENDER / Entertainment

February 8, 2013

Revisiting 1981’s ‘Taps’ best to watch George C. Scott

ROBERT LEBZELTER / VIDEO VIPER

(Continued)

Mmmmm, maybe not. Because Scott announces to the school later that the academy is being torn down at the end of the school year.

Worse yet, at what appears to be a prom, some of the townies start a fight with the military guys and when Patton tries to stop it, a kid tries to grab his gun, which is loaded. There is a scuffle and one of the townies is killed.

Can it get any worse? Oh yeah, because the Scott character has a heart attack and is in critical condition. The academy, even though it is for teens and preteens, is filled with guns, ammunition, even handgrenades. So the kids take over the academy, put up barricades and present a list of demands.

They hunker down for a fight. They hunker down for honor.

The movie is more than two hours long. Guns are fired. Kids die. People go berserk.

 Ronny Cox, best known as the fatality in “Deliverance,” does a wonderful job as Col. Kerby, a secondary character who tries to diffuse the situation before anyone gets hurt.

It is difficult to think of a way this can have a satisfactory yet somewhat realistic ending.

There are plenty of weak spots in a movie which tries to determine if it is making an anti-war statement or is just providing two hours of entertainment.

If you want to revisit this 1981 movie, it might be better to look at it as a way to determine how Cruise and Hutton and Penn have evolved over the years.

Unless you want to see little kids getting shot up for no discernible reason.

Read more viper columns at videoviper.blogspot.com.

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