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Men of Honor
Rated R
Runtime: 2 hours 8 minutes
Starring: Robert De Niro, Cuba Gooding Jr., Charlize Theron, Michael Rapaport, Hal Holbrook

MFG Rating: 3/5

Men of Honor is the true story of Carl Brashear, the first african-american to become a master diver in the U.S. Navy. Brashear entered the Navy before the civil rights movement at a time that although the armed services were integrated, they were still very segregated. Racism was still very rampant, and the challenges he was able to overcome make for an absolutely amazing story.

Men of HonorCuba Gooding Jr. plays the role of Brashear and turns in an excellent performance. But we were totally blown away with the performance of Robert De Niro as Master Chief Billy Sunday. Sunday is the person who trains Brashear to dive and as such is both a nasty adversary and strong supporter. De Niro's performance at times in this film reminds me alot of R. Lee Ermey as Sgt. Hartman, the Drill Instructor from Full Metal Jacket. But Ermey really was a D.I., for De Niro to be able to muster up that same level of believable intensity is truly impressive.

This is not light viewing, this is very heavy drama. The life of Carl Brashear is amazing because he met challenge after challenge successfully no matter what obstacles were put in his way. If there ever was a human with absolute no quit in him at all, it is this man. Without spoiling the movie, let's just say this makes for some fairly intense viewing. And although this is not a chick flick by any means, if you take a date, dont be surprised if you get some water works. You've been warned.

There are a few action sequences as well, but do not expect any gun play, car chases or explosions. Master Chief Sunday explains that divers are not fighting men, but rather they are into rescue, salvage, search, etc. The movie stays true to this and does not compromise the story just by slipping in a couple of good booms just to punch up the trailers.

Men of Honor is extremely well done with two very strong performances from Gooding and De Niro. However, it is very intense drama, and it does have a couple of slow spots. On the Movies for Guys scale we give it a solid 3 stars. If you're in the mood for something a bit more serious this holiday season, check it out.

- Billy Bob

 

Vital Stats
                   
Less
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Gun Play
                   
Divers are not fighting men, just ask the Master Chief!


Blood & Gore
                   
One pretty gruesome accident...


Car Chases
                   
Underwater? I dont think so!

T&A
                   
Charlize Theron's assets again are wasted here.


Chuckles
                   
This is pretty intense, but De Niro has a way with words...