John Travolta plays arrogant parts very well, as demonstrated in "A Civil Action". He's no less self-confident in "The General's Daughter" and really lathers on the cheese for this absorbing thriller.
Paul Brenner (John Travolta) is a Military Investigator who always puts his career first, until he is given a case involving the death of a beautiful female officer at Fort MacCallum. The circumstances surrounding her death are very bizarre, including a fake rape attempt and a secretive high-ranking army father who offers little in the way of help. Asked if he's a soldier or a policeman, Travolta is left in no doubt that the top brass want this matter hushed-up fast.
Also assigned to the case is former lover Madeleine Stowe. Her arrival allows for the obligatory sexual tension, although it's limited to some friendly exchanges of sarcasm that never really work.
Set in Savannah, Travolta wins hands down with his accent in a pleasingly intense performance that helps propel the story along. He first casts suspicion on James Woods, who revels in yet another show-stealing support role but Travolta matches it pound for pound in a riveting, sweaty confrontation.
This is certainly a movie with plenty of sinister twists and turns that are allowed to build slowly by Simon West. It's a different pace for the director of "Con Air" although he does get to throw in an explosion while indulging his passion for orange lighting schemes.