The word basic is used once. Our investigator tells the woman: Murder is basic. Everyone is capable of murder. This is the basis of conservative politics – man’s natural evil – & of all armies. The idealist woman is not a part apart from the evil that is man. The story turns when our investigator convinces the woman to beg him not to leave. They have a story; it satisfies legal requirements; try it & feel good about yourself. She does not; he then explains the story’s weakness. She appeals to his sense of honor. His appeal is erotic. At the end, his friends suggest he calls smart women hot… It astounds, how much this woman loves justice who kills for justice.
Section 8 refers to military law: Mental unfitness as cause for discharge. The poet twice displays madness & injustice. First, one white soldier pretends to be black. Then, a dying man confesses his sins. The first soldier confesses his sins later. Justice is done, including poetic justice, the feeling that we were taught to think is wrong is punished.
Deception is the surface of our story. Any two stories must contradict each other. No coherent poetic account can be comprehensive. The poet knowing this knows this is the limit of our powers. – If speeches could replace action, we would be immortal. Action, however, requires grounding opinions & hope for success, for good things. Speeches, imitating the necessity of action, conceal our accidental start in seeking the truth. When we think, we are always in the jungle; to think otherwise is pious perhaps, but not lucid. Poetry offers a guide to thought in recounting the jungle. – The end of the story is ironic. It proves that some things cannot be revealed; truth is concealed because it is true, despite our expectations.
This is easily proved: The woman reaches the end because she thinks the investigator is corrupt. Now, our investigator must seem corrupt, because the corruption he seeks to reveal conceals itself behind justice. Apparently, order can be deceptious & inimical to justice. Therefore, deception is also necessary to justice. Therefore, doing justice cannot remove our fundamental weakness. But our investigator also pretends to be beyond the laws because he is. He is undeceived, but deceives almost everyone. It is the question of justice that causes her to trust him.
This is the last movie John McTiernan made. His career over, the genre he epitomized gone. We see action one last time. The men lost in the jungle will recall you of Predator. Or Die Hard, the man embodying unlawful justice. Or The Hunt for October Red, the one man who knows the mind of the other.