Scott once again showed his penchant for female-centric action movies with this amped-up programmer about the first woman to join the ranks of an elite, SEAL-like unit of the U.S. Navy. The woman in question is Lieutenant Jordan O'Neil (Demi Moore), who finds herself hand-picked for the assignment by a calculating Texas senator (Ann Bancroft) who has publicly criticized the Navy for failing to integrate women into all of its branches. So off she goes to “hell week” under the command of a stern Master Chief (a pre-Lord of the Rings Viggo Mortensen), and where the fierce hazing from her fellow soldiers makes the training itself pale by comparison. Rooted in strong performances by Moore and Mortensen and goosed with every trick in Scott’s style book (jump cuts, smash zooms, circular tracking shots, rain, fog, etc.), G.I. Jane offers a sly commentary on the changing face of the American military and business as usual in the Beltway backroom.
“A very entertaining get-tough fantasy with political and feminist underpinnings.”
—Todd McCarthy, Variety
“***1/2. The training sequences are as they have to be: incredible rigors, survived by O'Neil. They are good cinema because Ridley Scott brings a documentary attention to them, and because Demi Moore, having bitten off a great deal here, proves she can chew it. The wrong casting in her role could have tilted the movie toward Private Benjamin, but Moore is serious, focused and effective.”
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times