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Heartbreak Ridge Review

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Sgt. Tom 'Gunny' Highway (Eastwood) is a veteran of Korea and Vietnam, but now finds himself assigned to training the army's latest recruits, a squad of slack trendies with hippy tendencies. Charged with whipping them into shape for the invasion of Grenada (1983), Highway remembers why he joined the army in the first place - to inflict pain...

★★★★★

Unfortunately, Clint Eastwood gives one of his best performances in this ideologically unsound paean to a Man Doing What A Man’s Gotta Do—in this case, invading Grenada. But Clint is superb as the tough, seasoned sarge whipping his inept Marine platoon into shape while surreptitiously studying women’s magazines for tips on how to woo back his fed-up wife. He looks the part, all scarred angles and a frame no doubt sharpened by a pre-dawn exercise regime. He carries off the hard-man role as well as ever, but also hints at some vulnerability beneath the military façade. On this evidence, Clint’s acting career has some miles left in it.

An unusually thoughtful look (and a broad one) at powers on the wane, at America's shift from Vietnam polarisations to 80's apathy, and at one man teetering on the brink of a lonely old age.

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