The General's Daughter

Director: Simon West
Writers: Christopher Bertolini and William Goldman
Paramount; R; 118 minutes
Release: 6/99
Cast: John Travolta, Madeleine Stowe, James Cromwell

Let's start with the title: The General's Daughter. The woman is a military possession. Then there's the repeated image of that same daughter raped, murdered, and staked to the ground. No, it isn't pretty. Turns out Capt. Elisabeth Campbell was a strong female in the Army, and the film seems to believe she deserved her grisly end.

John Travolta stars as the military investigator assigned to solve the high-profile case as quietly as possible. He's teamed with an old flame rape counselor (Madeleine Stowe), although nary a spark passes between the former couple. Suspects abound, motives multiply, scandals are unearthed, and scenes of unnecessary violence pop up quicker than Travolta delivers his winning one-liners. Well, maybe not that quick.

If it weren't sleazy (albeit well-acted) tabloid trash, The General's Daughter might actually be a good movie.

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