Basic is a 2003 mystery-action thriller movie with John Travolta, Connie Nielsen, and Samuel L. Jackson in it. It was directed by John McTiernan and written by James Vanderbilt. After 1994’s Pulp Fiction, this marks Travolta and Jackson’s second time working together. The plot centres on a DEA agent who must solve the mystery of a training exercise gone wrong that claimed the lives of several Army Ranger cadets and their instructor. Critics were critical of Basic’s main narrative and a number of its unexpected endings. With a $50 million budget, it failed miserably at the box office, earning just $42.8 million globally.
A group of Army Rangers recruits are being led by the intimidating instructor Master Sergeant Nathan West during a live fire training exercise in the jungles of Panama. Second Lieutenant Levi Kendall is being carried out of the jungle by Sergeant Ray Dunbar. Sergeant Mueller, who is pursuing the two men, is killed by Dunbar out of self-defense. West’s squad is thought to be dead even though no more bodies are discovered.
Drawing a “8” on a piece of paper, Dunbar defies Military Police investigator Captain Julia Osborne and insists on speaking to another Ranger outside the post. Colonel Bill Styles, the station commander, appoints his buddy and seasoned interrogator Tom Hardy, a former Ranger and current DEA agent, to assist Osborne.
When the survivors were questioned, they find out that West was renowned for being a merciless, hard-nosed sergeant. Jay Pike, one of the trainees, incurred West’s fury for disobeying instructions and could have orchestrated the murder.
Kendall, a homosexual and the son of a Joint Chiefs of Staff general, alleges West may have ordered a “training accident” on him because he loathed him. He states that West was killed by a phosphorous grenade that struck him in the back. Dunbar planned to turn Pike in when he admitted to the crime, but a gunfight broke out, and the majority of the trainees perished.