Ham-fisted directon bogs down an already cliched story and crummy acting.Sheen. Estevez. Sheen.
Seeing that on a marquee is enough to send me off the deep end, but whaddaya know, I watched Cadence, directed by (and starring) Martin Sheen, featuring Charlie (Charles?) Sheen and Ramon Estevez (Emilio and Charlie's brother).
The younger Sheen plays Private Bean (hey, that rhymes), a guy with serious problems in regards to authority. He's lost his father. He gets two eightball tattoos on the backs of his hands and takes a swing at an MP. This gets him sent to a military stockade, where he's the only white prisoner among black prisoners that are kept separately (this all takes place in 1963).
Shock of shocks, they don't get along.
He's white and he's got no rhythm, so he can't quite figure out their "Soul Patrol" shuffle, done to the tune of Sam Cooke's "Working On The Chain Gang." He takes a beating but doesn't rat anyone out. Slowly he earns the respect of the other prisoners, but only because a rite of passage in prison is a foundation of almost every prison film.
Meanwhile, there's a problem between Bean and the stockade commander (Sheen), a bigot with problems at home involving his son. Bean refuses to call the old man Sarge. What follows are a challenge to a fight, Bean's attempt to build a windmill (just like Dad did *sniff*), emergency drills at all hours (involving the other prisoners as well) a court martial, and a fatal gunshot.
It's all strictly movie-of-the-week stuff. Sheen's direction is too heavy handed, and the acting of both Sheens leaves something to be desired. Larry Fishburne does all right as the Soul Patrol leader, Stokes, but you just know he's kicking himself for taking the role now.The "Soul Patrol" shuffle scenes are the best. They have the best feel and look to them. Everything else pretty much stinks.