Synopsis by Mark Deming
A young man tries to fight the military system only to find it fighting back in unexpected ways in this hard-edged drama. In 1971, Roland Bozz (Colin Farrell) is a draftee who has been sent to the Advanced Infantry Training Facility in Fort Polk, LA, where with hundreds of other new soldiers he's to be taught a final course in combat skills before being shipped out to Vietnam. Bozz has no interest in going to war, and is determined to get sent home as a troublemaker. But his plan backfires; his superiors regard his insubordination as a sign of intelligence and independent thinking, and he's told he might some day become an officer. Bozz and his fellow soldiers -- aspiring writer Paxton (Matthew Davis), sensitive Miter (Clifton Collins Jr.), philosophical Cantwell (Thomas Guiry), bloodthirsty Wilson (Shea Whigham), and heroic Johnson (Russell Richardson) -- are taught how to survive as they face their fears of death and wonder if they can somehow escape going to war. Tigerland was directed by Joel Schumacher; in a change of pace from his best-known work (Falling Down, Batman Forever, and Batman and Robin), the film was made on a relatively low budget (under $10 million), was written by first-time screenwriters Ross Klavan and Michael McGruther, and features a cast of young, little-known actors.
boot-camp [military], recruit [soldier], drill-sergeant, training, insubordination, Vietnam, war