“You went all the way to Yemen, and all you proved is that you’re still a drunk!” a bloodied Terry Childers (Samuel L. Jackson) bellows at buddy Hays Hodges (Tommy Lee Jones) before the two engage in some mano-a-mano combat in the most unintentionally hilarious line in the new military courtroom drama “Rules of Engagement.” At this point in the film, Marine Corps Col. Childers has already murdered a prisoner of war in cold blood, given the order to execute a crowd of women and children, fought with protesters, and punched his best friend. And he’s supposed to be the hero?
Well, if War Is Hell, then the audience gets about two and a half hours of war in this tepid stew of a film. Two parts “A Few Good Men” and one part “The Verdict,” and you’ve pretty much got it.
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