The best things about this numbingly predictable service-academy drama are its talented leading men -- chiseled James Franco (Tristan & Isolde) as a beleaguered Annapolis plebe from the wrong side of the tracks, and Four Brothers star Tyrese Gibson as the inevitable tough-as-nails drill instructor who serves as his constant tormentor and sometimes inspiration. They're both terrific. But the movie's Rocky Balboa-goes-to-college notion doesn't work very well, and the insertion of lovely Jordana Brewster as the plucky hero's student fight trainer is whimsical at best. For at least an hour, we see the climactic Big Fight (and its redemptive result) coming. Directed by Justin Lin (Better Luck Tomorrow), the overdose of screenplay cliches courtesy of Dave Collard (Out of Time). The outstanding supporting turn here comes from big Chi McBride as the academy's salty boxing coach.
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: David Collard
Producer: Damien Saccani and Mark Vahradian
Cast: James Franco, Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Brewster, Donnie Wahlberg, Chi McBride, Vicellous Shannon, Brian Goodman, Kenan Thompson, McCaleb Burnett and Wilmer Calderon