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Guilty As Charged
cast: Antonio Sabato Jr, James Remar, Yuji Okumoto, Duane Davis, Melissa Lewis

director: Mark L. Lester

93 minutes (15) 2000
High Fliers VHS rental

RATING: 4/10
reviewed by Jeff Young
Antonio Sabato Jr plays tough guy, John Murphy, an undercover detective for US military police. He's assigned to investigate the Fort Chaney command of Colonel Straus (James Remar), suspected of involvement in the disappearance or murder of numerous soldiers posted to his platoon. It turns out that the fanatical Straus is training a private death squad of crack troops, supposedly to re-establish pride and honour in America's armed services...
   They have been churning out these manhunt thrillers ever since RKO started the whole subgenre in 1932 with The Most Dangerous Game. This jingoistic army version recalls Peter Hyams' underrated The Star Chamber (1983), as it supposes ad-hoc tribunals are enforcing brutally rough justice whenever the forgiving court martial system fails to convict obviously culpable soldiers. What makes the story interesting is the seemingly genuine, patriotic fervour of Straus' homicidal regime and the passionate loyalty he inspires in his mixed race troops (male and female).
   James Remar turns in another solid, straightforward, and typically compelling performance (making this an essential rental if you're a Remar completist), but apart from his sterling efforts, Guilty As Charged remains nothing more than grimly formulaic, wholly predictable tosh, enjoyable only as yet another no-brain actioner.
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