Military Intelligence and You! (DVD Review)4 May, 2008 By: John Latchem
Box Office $0.01 million
Stars Patrick Muldoon, Elizabeth Bennett, John Rixley Moore, Eric Jungmann, Mackenzie Astin.
“Attacking without complete intelligence is the kind of bold, decisive action Americans are known for. Knowing we may invade any place at any time strikes fear in the hearts of our enemies and allies alike.”
Such is one of many biting quotes from Military Intelligence and You!, writer-director Dale Kutzera's sardonic parody of a World War II training film that serves double-duty as a commentary on the War on Terror. The film plays like a feature-length version of a segment that might be seen on “The Daily Show,” skewering neocon jingoism and the kind of gung ho spirit associated with war.
Kutzera uses the heavy-handed patriotism of WWII movies to present a thinly veiled allegory for the invasion of Iraq. In a wry comic twist, half the movie consists of actual clips from classic WWII films, seamlessly blended with fresh footage to create a new storyline. A young Ronald Reagan even makes a cameo as a fighter pilot.
Military Intelligence and You! is short on laugh-out-loud moments but high on wit. The masterstroke of Kutzera's technique is that the movie serves equally well as a straight parody of the war-film genre.
The plot involves the efforts of Maj. Reed (Muldoon of Starship Troopers) to find a hidden German airbase used to launch missions against American bombers in 1944. Reed has an idea about the base's location, but without solid intelligence, his superiors won't attack.
Reed clashes with a former lover, Lt. Tasty (Bennett), who notices he's grown angry and bitter, like America in the wake of 12/7 (a reference to the Pearl Harbor attack of Dec. 7, 1941, and a perfect 9/11 stand-in). She can't understand why so many people hate America and its attempts to spread “the Christian love of our secular democracy.”
Maj. Dunning (Astin of The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human) provides the perfect answer: “It's not our fault we're better and smarter than everybody else. It's just the way God made things.”