Went and saw Men of Honor the other day, mainly because I was bored rather than a genuine desire to actually see this movie.
Starring Robert de Niro (yeh, he’s still alive!) and Cuba Gooding, Jr, Men of Honor is the Hollywood-ised version of the story of Carl Brashear, the first African-American US Navy Diver, and the first black guy to make it to the rank of Master Chief.
It starts out fairly predictably, with Cuba being smacked around in an old-school racist way, a theme which perpetuates throughout the entire movie. Its amazing to see how much bullshit that non-white people had to absorb way back before (most of) humanity evolved to the point where they started treating people equally. I basically spent the first part of the movie going, “man, all these people are racist assholes”, which is obviously what I was supposed to be doing.
The story itself is pretty interesting – considering it iss true, its good testament to the human spirit and how much ass-kicking people can do when they’re motivated, even when they’re surrounded by the harshest of conditions. The US Naval Institute has a brief overview of his life, as well as an excerpt from a book (I think).
Being a true story, its pretty easy to guess how the plot goes. I thought the execution of the story was a little clumsy; it seemed to be a bit disjointed with different bits segmented and glued together. I guess that might have been the aim though; its not really a normal story but rather a type of documentary to cover the more interesting bits of Brashear’s life. If you’ve got Foxtel, you’ll see on the movie channel the dude actually interviewing Brashear, who gives out some tidbits of what he thought of the movie.
If you’re after a good story of the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity, this is a good thing to see. I thought the ‘Men of Honor’ title was somewhat misplaced; at MOST there were three guys in that movie with any sort of honor, the rest of them being portrayed primarily as racist lusers.