Review of a few good men Essay
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A few good men starring Jack Nicholson Tom Cruise and Demi Moore is about ethic in the marines. Many characters in the movie are faced with moral dillemas Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholsons characters are faced with moral dillemas. The movie is about two marines who are accused of murdering there fellow officer, during the incestigation it is discovered that there is a practice called “code red” this is a unethical and unofficial disciplinary measure by the marine squad when a member goes against the unit.
The offender is gagged, beaten, and then they are killed by their fellow officers. The accused put the blame on someone they said was higher up from them. They carried out the “code red” order because the officer was not living up to the duties and agenda of the marines, and they were following the command of a higher ranking officer than they were. It is later discovered that Colnel Jessup played by Jack Nicholson was the one who gave the order to kill private Santiago.
This crime is not only ethically wrong in the marine corps but it is also illegal by law. Lance Corporal Harold dawson and Private Louden Downey, played by Wolfgang Bodison and James Marshall were just following orders when they assulted Private Santiago late at night by stuffing a rag in his mouth and basically suffocating him creating respirtory complications. Santiago had decided that millitary life was not what he wanted and he ended up paying the price for that decision. False discharge papers were created in an attempt to hide the actual code red plan. There are two ethical issues here, of course one is the murder performed byDawson and Downey, the other is the code red order of Jessup and the subsequent cover up. Kaffe is a young trial lawyer who has a lot to prove. His father was a famous lawyer, so in order to be like him Kaffe needs to win all the time , losing is not an option. One of his tactics is to request a plea bargain on many of his cases.
Kaffee is acquired to defend Dawson and Downey, however Kaffee knows that the two marines have done something unethical. Kaffee, in fact, despises Dawson and Downey so much that he says they do not deserve the uniforms that they wear. Kaffee has adilemma; his personal feelings concerning people who abuse others who aren’t able to defend themselves get in the way. In short Kaffe does not want to defend these marines.His normal course of action would have been to request a plea bargain. However JoanneGalloway played by Demi Moore, his co-council and superior officer convinces him not to go that route.
Kaffe starts work hard on the case. As time goes on he discovers that Dawson and Downey are really not to blame at all. The problem rests squarely with Jessup. When this discovery is made Kaffe holds colonel Jessup culpable. This puts Kaffe’s name and career at great risk. over time it became very important for Kaffee to vindicate the marines and to bring down Jessup. This in his mind was proper justice and also something true,noble, and outside of himself. He even came to accept that fulfilling his fathers footsteps did not matter.
Most civilians would label Jessup’s actions as cruel and cold hearted and vicious. They would view thesituation from a Teleological framework, which means they would be thinking about theconsequences of Jessup’s actions. However, civilians are not marines and therefore do not understand the point of the situation. The point is to adherence to military rules. In fact proper ethical behavior in the case of a marine comes form following therules. This is an example of a deontological framework, or a framework that judges the ethics of an action based on adherence to rules. This is Jessup believes to be the world he lives in, a world, iof rules, not consequences.The turning point in all of this occurred when Santiago died. Jessup lost his mind at this point. He lied to Kaffee by telling him that Santiago was to leave the base.
He also said that his chiefs of staff had orders not to abuse Santiago. Because of Kaffee andGalloway’s persistance, Jessup went to prison for his actions.I am not a military person, but have many family and friends that are in the millitary and know how some of the operations and rules work..However, this kind of situation is not possible amongst civilians. Military people have to defend our country’s freedoms and sometimes they have to fight for the freedoms of other countries.
In order to do this they have to abide by a particular set of rules so that they are fair in helping other countries have their safety and freedoms as well. I really do not believe that the ethical dilemmas posed by the movie could have been solved any other way. Dawson and Downey may have rejected Jessup’s orders to do a code red on Santiago. They mayhave been fired for this, but in any event the order would have gone to other Marines more willing to carry it out and help their career. It really does not matter because Santiago would experience thecode red no matter what. Fate is what it is and cannot be changed and in this case it was his time.
Kaffee wanted a plea bargain, however due to Galloway’s influence he chose to focus his intellect on the case. I believe that this was a wise decision. It resulted in saving the marines from time in prison and sending Jessup to jail. .Code red orders have probably been given countless times in the past, the reason being that they work.
People have a preconcieved notion of what lawyers do, and how they think and act. That they are only out to make a profit. This is a millitary court though they have to uphold to a different set of standards when it comes to the law. There is the law that we know and the law of the millitary. I also think that people watch movies about legalities and justice to try a nd get a better understanding of our world. There are a few different types of millitary branches out there that rule different areas like the navy is usually under water, the army is on land, and the airforce rules the skies. With all these how do we govern laws to fit all categories of the millitary. How do we ensure that they equally enforce these laws and protect all of their enlisters. I read an article about women being assulted by their fellow officers and they hardley ever see and type of punishment or trial for what they did. How is there any ethics there. What lesson is learned, that since they are in the millitary they can get away with thing. To me I think that millitary should fall under the same circuit of justice as all others.
I think that the movie all in all was very good. The actors that portrayed the characters were very believeable, as well as the story line. I think something like that could and maybe even already did happen. You hear a lot now about our soldiers falling victim to friendly fire over seas and it makes you wonder why that really happened. It is a sad reality though. I also like a lot of the actors in the movie like Kevin Bacon, Kieffer Sutherland as well as Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore. I think that with the upcoming holliday it was only fitting to do a movie about the millitary. Many of my family members either have served or still serve in the millitary and I was in the ROTC program in highschool so to me this is a subject that I am passionate about. Not just on hollidays but everyday I come across a veteran I make sure to thank them. Because wha happened in the movie does not depict the military as a whole and these men and women truly are the superheroes of today.