Schumacher’s 2000 Vietnam war film showed that there was still life left in one of the most cinematic conflicts in American history. The underrated Tigerland takes place in a US training camp, rather than the jungles of ‘Nam itself, but feeds on the moral ambiguity and wildness of the era to create an original and underrated film with a cast that largely went on to great things.
Chief among them is Colin Farrell, shortly prior to his breakthrough but clearly a commanding screen presence even this early in his career. He’s hugely charismatic as Private Bozz, a reluctant soldier who specialises in helping deserving colleagues find their way out of service. He takes a trope-like character - the cynical soldier with a heart of gold - and injects it with his movie star intensity to elevate the role, and the film.
It’s not the most fleshed out of Schumacher’s films, but with quality turns from some other now-familiar faces (Michael Shannon, Shea Wigham, Nick Searcy from Justified) and some of the least welcoming army barracks scenes since Full Metal Jacket, Tigerland is an effective evocation of a strange time and place.