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Stockade (aka Cadence) Review

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Desperate to get out of the US army, stationed in West Germany in 1965, Private Franklin Bean (Charlie Sheen) breaks military protocol by having his hands tattooed, and further disgraces himself by getting drunk and punching an MP in a bar. This fails to get him his discharge, but he does get 90 days in the stockade under the command of unstable military stalwart Sgt. Otis McKinney (Martin Sheen).

★★★★★

Father and son Martin and Charlie Sheen dig out the old military fatigues again here for this, their joint venture. After trying every way he can think of to get thrown out of the army, Private bean is incarcerated until he learns to behave. Initially at odds with his five black fellow prisoners, but he is gradually accepted, and the men unite against the tyrannical McKinney, the unpredictable figurehead in charge and trying to keep them in line. The inevitable male-bonding scenes follow but, when tragedy strikes, Bean is forced to choose sides and possibly betray his friends in favour of McKinney.

The Sheens and an excellent supporting cast all act their socks off, but despite the film's non-Vietnam setting one cannot help but notice certain unmistakable parallels with Born On The Fourth Of July and Platoon - even Oliver Stone's trick of slowing down the action when the hero lets out an anguished cry is used here. Despite this, Sheen senior proves he's as competent a director as he is at treading the boards, while Charlie offers a decent performance.

Interesting father-and-son dynamic, though not particularly memorable in the long-term.