The General’s Daughter (1999)
Directed by Simon West
Starring: John Travolta, Madeleine Stowe, James Cromwell
I took time for this film because I like John Travolta and I love James Cromwell. I figured that the combination could be a good one. Director Simon West isn’t a name I was familiar with. Luckily, I am familiar with Con Air and The Expendables 2, two of his other movies. John Travolta is a household name for even the most casual movie fans. He’s had roles in a variety of films spanning all genres. From Grease to Pulp Fiction he’s established a great body of work. This movie also stars Madeleine Stowe (The Last of the Mohicans) and James Cromell (The Artist).
Captain Elizabeth Campbell is the daughter of well-known General Joseph Campbell (Cromwell) who has been found murdered. Now the military is asking for help from an undercover detective (Travolta) with a controversial record and an impressive background. He’s been teamed up with Officer Sara Sunhill (Stowe) to look into the murder. As the pair digs into the life of the victim they uncover a deeper motive than they expected. Now they have to proceed with an investigation that will put them up against powerful enemies.
This movie was a fun one to watch. The story was interesting and the pace of the film made the suspense hold up even in more predictable moments. With Travolta and Cromwell, the movie produced some great scenes and made great use of the dialogue. John Travolta does a good job of bringing a certain amount of ego into his role, along with a swagger that worked nicely in this one. Opposite him is the straight-laced Cromwell. He’s one of those actors who should be playing Presidents, Generals, and dignitaries as often as possible. This time he does a great job with the role, making it deeper and darker than I expected.
This movie isn’t without its faults. There are moments of predictability, moments I think could have been avoided if the audience was given a bit more credit. It seemed like the movie lost some of the mystery too soon. This doesn’t kill the movie, but it did take away from the payoff.
I did like this movie, despite any criticisms I have for it. I should point out that there is a James Woods sighting as well. I would recommend this movie for anyone who likes suspense and mystery. I would also expect fans of Travolta to see this one since it’s another good performance. I give this one 3.7 out of 5 stars.