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My questions regard the movie Basic.

Since at the end we find out that:

Section 8 is actually a black-ops anti-drug unit led by Tom Hardy (who is addressed as "Colonel"). The "Section-8" insane-mercenary story is a cover to spook the cartels. "Dunbar", "Castro", "Nuñez" and "Pike" (not their names) infiltrated the base to investigate the cocaine trafficking that was going on, and discovered Mueller, Kendall and Vilmer were responsible. West, not realizing Styles was also involved, informed him of the findings. Styles responded by ordering Mueller and Kendall to kill West. The training mission ordered by West was in fact a covert Section-8 set-up to get rid of Mueller and Kendall, faking West's death

I wonder what was the point of all the interrogations and false stories? Why Hardy and Osborne had to go back and forth between the two survivors?

It seems that the ending makes the whole movie pointless...

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  • I think even Nobel laureates couldn't explain the logic behind Basic's plot. ;) – Walt Jun 10 '16 at 11:54
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Having watched this B-movie countless times (it’s a guilty pleasure), I’ll try answering these questions.

Why Hardy and Osborne had to go back and forth between the two survivors?

Answering this first, as I think it addresses the core plot of the movie:

Hardy (John Travolta) wanted to find out who else was involved in the plot. In the process, he found out that Col. Styles ordered the hit on Sergeant West and that Dr. Vilmer supplied the drugs. It also gives Col. Styles a false sense of security that his involvement won’t be revealed. As for why include Osborne during the interrogations, the answer is two-fold. One, as Osborne says, there needs to be a witness with good character in case any of charges went to trial (as opposed to Hardy, who was accused of bribery). Second, I think she needed to be there as another interrogator.

I wonder what was the point of all the interrogations and false stories?

All the stories revolved around Sergeant West’s death, which we find out are all false (because he’s alive at the end of the movie). Dunbar’s motivation for perpetuating the false stories was as a cover for Section 8. He knew that he would be bailed out sooner or later by Section 8, regardless of what fake accusations Kendall made.

As for Kendall’s motivation to perpetuate the false stories: Dunbar told him to go along with the “story”, or else be exposed for his involving in the drug scheme. But of course, the “story” to which Kendall agrees is not the same one that Dunbar mentions in one of his testimonies (because essentially all the testimonies are horseshit). The “story” is that Sergeant West was killed and that Section 8 doesn’t exist; Kendall could have spilled the beans at any time that Sergeant West was never killed.

I figure this answer can raise more questions:

  • If I recall correctly, I think “Dunbar” also tried to pin some stuff on Kendall. Wouldn’t that mean that Kendall would have been legally screwed if he had lived? Well, my answer is pure speculation at this point: maybe Section 8 offered him a deal? Then again, it was Dunbar’s word against Kendall’s, so the charges might have been dropped.
  • And I guess most importantly: how do you make sense of the false stories? You don’t. They’re just a smoke screen. That’s how I viewed them. I’ve always thought that one day I’d go through the movie and try to figure them out, but in the end, it would be a moot point, as they don’t need to make sense. As @Walt says: Nobel laureates couldn't explain the logic (at least the logic behind the fake stories).

It seems that the ending makes the whole movie pointless...

Well they did find that: Col. Styles and Vilmer were all involved in the drug scheme, so it wasn’t pointless. (They already knew Kendall was involved; I think Hardy also knew Vilmer was involved.)

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