Movie Review: The Inspection

It has always been said that “The poor fight, and die in war because they have no other options”. The movie “The Inspection” is about a true story about a poor gay black man who has no other option within his almost homeless and bleak existence but to join the Marines. This entire story is about boot camp and the reality of the abuse new Marine recruits must endure and become a Marine. In this case of true story, the new recruit Ellis French, played very well by actor Jeremy Pope is gay – and this adds a lot of additional challenges Ellis must endure to become a Marine. His mother, Inez French, played very well by Gabrielle Union is extremely homophobic and both disowns and is abusive to her own son because he is homosexual.

This film reminded me of “Full Metal Jacket”. released in 1987 – because it shows the harsh reality of boot camp and the training that has evolved for hundreds of years to turn an ordinary man or woman into a soldier – who is capable of fighting in a war. The harshness and cruelty that has evolved over the centuries – necessary to train a soldier, is the main part of this movie and for the most part, is very well done.

The most important part of this movie in my opinion was the acting of Gabrielle Union who for perhaps the first time in her acting career has scored a significant and serious role in a low-budget “Indie” film. What stands out the most about Union’s performance is the harsh and damaged appearance of her face – without any makeup, that makes you wonder if this is Union’s real face or some additional appearance enhancements for this film. There is talk of a possible Oscar nomination for Union’s performance as Ellis French’s mother, but I thought her role was not long enough to receive an Oscar nomination.

The Rotten Tomatoes ratings of 86% are too high for such a one-dimensional review of Marine boot camp and homophobia, which we have all seen before. My rating is a solid 75% and a marginal recommendation.

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