The Inspection (2022)

89% – Critics
91% – Audience

The Inspection Storyline

In Elegance Bratton’s inspirational and deeply moving retelling of his own story, a young, gay Black man, rejected by his mother and with few options for his future, decides to join the Marines, doing whatever it takes to succeed in a system that would cast him aside. But even as he battles deep-seated prejudice and the grueling routines of basic training, he finds unexpected camaraderie, strength, and support in this new community, giving him a hard-earned sense of belonging that will shape his identity and forever change his life.

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The Inspection Movie Reviews

A very competent debut

With a mom like that who needs enemies. This works quite well on many levels. Maybe it’ll clue some people into why queer people found families are more functional than the blood relations that can’t see past their own fear and hatred. Externalized, embodied, by the military in many ways, this simple story of a black gay man with no one endeavouring to be a marine is an excellent debut.

I am not sure anything was wildly exceptional, but there’s something to be said for a competent execution across all the craft of a film on the first go. Most big budget films don’t have that going for them, and yet look at their money and acclaim.

An excellent portrait

Though the movie focus on a man whose gay and his experience going through the Marines Boot Camp, the movie actually examines a diverse group of young men going through the Marine Corps training. Of all the types you’ll find your type that you can relate to.

I feel the movie makes you guess a little too much about the main character French’s background. Most likely done on purpose as the purpose of the Marines is to have no background when you put on that uniform. Slowly along with the character we discover what type of man he can be without putting any further labels on him.

Find it ironic that the inspection actually was positive propaganda for the U. S Marine corps, casue what I saw a coming-of-age story that molded the story teller greatly.

It was a small picture which triggered great emotion.

Terrific Exploration of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

The policy of “Don’t Ask…” was in effect when the movie was conceived — and it serves as a time capsule of the ramification of that policy. In the event that a gay man is able to become a member of the armed forces, he has to contend with any number of abuses that are heaped up upon him in the name of discrimination. In the case of this film, it is doubled as the lead character is not only gay, but also black.

The issue at heart is whether gay people are an asset to the military; for some reason, it was never a significant issue until recently, with the advent of Desert Storm. With the passage of the policy, the military has no right to refuse a gay person, which therefore leaves the gay man to become a pariah in his own platoon. Here, he is subject to a number of abuses by the rest of the squad, as he is treated with disdain by the Commanding Officer (who coincidentally is also black) and is beaten up by his fellow recruits, and has to fight back to be able to achieve a level of respect.

Even though some of the film is somewhat “by the numbers,” and has a character who is Muslim and therefore is also discriminated against, the film never resorts to cheap sentimentality; the Marine recruit never reconciles with his mother, who rejects him for being gay, which would be an absolute requirement in a Hollywood-ized version. He also is never given any chance of finding a sympathetic ear, despite every effort to do so. That is another reason why the script does not adhere to the standard Hollywood versions of gay themed dramas.

Overall, this is an exceptional achievement, as it free of any simplistic view of a gay character. For that reason alone, it towers way over the run of the mill gay themed drama. Kudos to the Director and the main Actors for having the courage to break the rules in making a film that is so realistic, it could almost be a documentary.