Movie Review: The Inspection (2022)

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The leviathan feats of surviving Marine boot camp or trying to change the mind of a stubbornly homophobic mother both get an “inspired by true events” treatment in Elegance Bratton’s 2005-set The Inspection (B-). Jeremy Pope plays a gay man who has been battling life on the urban streets since teenage estrangement from his mom (a memorable Gabrielle Union against type), so signing up for a punishing 13 weeks in Parris Island basic training is a desperate attempt to finally be a hero. Pope is the revelation here, bringing tremendous empathy to the central performance, who is a misfit times three in his strange new environment. Bratton’s film, while gorgeously shot and often deeply felt since it was based on some of his own story, tends to feel a bit like Full Metal Jacket meets Moonlight, with many story elements done much better before. Raúl Castillo is intriguing as one of the good guys; there are others who feel a bit like stock characters. Ultimately it’s absorbing in some unexpected ways even though much of the terrain has been trod before.

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