Saving Private Tootsie (2002) Poster

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Good action adventure spoilt by over-emphasis on homophobia
hazelfreeman4 October 2003
The action follows the rescue of a group of gay and transsexual people who were stranded following a plane crash in the forest in rebel-held territory on the border of Thailand. The film could have traced a familiar theme in a new (to Western audiences) format, with no Rambo style hero and no high-tech rescue equipment; just walking through the jungle, in some cases in high heels.

The tension is well developed, with the jungle itself, booby traps, the cliche of treacherous politicians refusing helicopter help, and the armed rebels. The rescued group antagonise their rescuers by failing to co-operate, and the tension arising from the homophobia of some of the soldiers is played on.

However, the homophobic angle is a little jagged for the Western viewer, with just too many "fag" references, and too much camp, peevish behaviour from the people who are being rescued. In fact this last dimension destroys the tension that ought to be carefully built up; it's just not believable. (Nor is it comedy, as suggested by another reviewer.)

If you can overlook this shortcoming, then the film is an interesting new take on a familiar story, and it's good entertainment.
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