My favorite thing about Annapolis is the soundtrack. The film is split in two parts—there are the slow-mo shots of bitchy wannabe Naval officer/amateur boxer Jake Huard (James Franco) being all sad and wanting to be a Naval officer, and then there are the approximately 14,000 montages that show Huard working his ass off to become a Naval officer. (For some weird reason, it looks like becoming a Naval officer mostly entails boxing.)
But where was I? Oh, right: composer Brian Tyler's score. Hilariously heart-tuggy and clichéd in quiet moments, it swerves into fast-riffin' electric guitars and drums for Huard's supposedly inspirational training montages. It's like Tyler smashed up music from Touched by an Angel and a Mountain Dew commercial, and it sums up Annapolis pretty perfectly.
Annapolis has something else I like, which is how it's easy to keep everyone straight based on their race. There's our hard-workin', blue collar honky, Huard; there's his fat black buddy (Vicellous Reon Shannon); his hot-blooded Latino roommate (Wilmer Calderon); his Asian study buddy (Roger Fan); and, to top things off, there's Huard's big black scary commanding officer, Cole (Tyrese Gibson), whose assholishness is nicely offset by Ali (Jordana Brewster), Huard's smokey-eyed, hotshit love interest. Can you guess which cadet gets kicked out? (Hint: He's hot-blooded!) Can you guess which one gets in trouble for hoarding candy? (Hint: He's fat!) Can you guess which one's an insufferable nerd (Hint: He's Asian!), which one's the scary dickhead (Hint: Cole!), and which one offers up some sweet ass? (I thought it might be the Latino dude, but turns out it's Jordana Brewster.)
But let's say you're a horrible guesser. Luckily for you, maestro Brian Tyler's there, gently plinking on piano notes or wailing on guitars to let you know when to be sad ("Fatty, don't eat that Twinkie!") and when to shout "Hoo-rah!" at how awesome the Navy is. ("Huard—just one more push-up! You can do it! Listen to the guitar, man!")