The film opens with a group of young Rangers, under the command of the indomitable Sergeant West, landing in the dense jungles of South America. Their mission is to complete certain tasks and get to the collection point.
The next day, a helicopter approaches the rendezvous point for the Rangers’ evacuation, but the pilots discover only one survivor, Dunbar, who is carrying a wounded and lifeless third cadet on his shoulders. All other members of the group are missing. During the firefight, the third cadet dies, and Dunbar and Kendal, who remains alive, manage to climb into a helicopter and leave the dangerous territory.
It turns out that Dunbar gives Captain Osborne a mysterious note and demands that experienced ex-ranger Tom Hardy intervene in his case. Inside the note are unique information related to the events that took place and the secret mission of the cadet rangers. Now Hardy must collect all the pieces of the puzzle and uncover the truth before it’s too late.
It soon becomes clear that the two stories have inconsistencies. When Kendal was dying, he drew Osbourne the number eight, the same as on Dunbar’s note. Hardy reveals the secret of the “Eight” group, which was engaged in drug trafficking and in which all six cadets were involved. The investigation leads to the head physician, Pete Wilmer, who was Osborne’s former lover.
Wilmer tells everything he knows, and it turns out that Dunbar and Pike have actually switched roles. Stiles, the commander of the base, turns out to be the organizer of the drug business and the killer. Hardy kills Stiles, and Osborn realizes that Hardy was behind everything. She goes after him and meets Pike. As a result, it turns out that all the members of the G8 are in the basement of the house.
The meaning of the film
Osborne and Hardy interrogate Dunbar and Kendal and discover inconsistencies in their testimony. Later, a tragic incident occurs – Kendal dies of poisoning, but before that he manages to draw the number 8 on Osborne’s palm. Osborne recalls that the same number was on a note found by Dunbar. Hardy, in turn, tells Osborn about his conversation with the colonel, in which the latter confessed to the existence of the former defector group “Eight”, which, after escaping from the army, turned into a gang of drug dealers.
Subsequently, Dunbar admitted that he and other students in the course used a synthetic narcotic substance that helped them withstand the tiring training sessions organized by Sgt. West. The main producer of the drug was Pete Wilmer, a local hospital doctor who had previously been in a relationship with Osborne. During the interrogation, Wilmer told everything he knew and revealed a shocking fact: it turns out that Dunbar’s true identity was Pike. Hardy and Osborne apprehended Pike on a plane that would take him to the United States, and on re-interrogation, he confessed that all six of the course participants were involved in the cocaine trade. West was going to expose them, but did not have time.
In a private conversation, Hardy accuses Stiles of organizing the drug business and killing Kendal. Stiles tries unsuccessfully to bribe Hardy, but dies at the hands of Osborn, who accidentally overhears their conversation. Before leaving the base, Hardy gives Osborn his phone number and tells her not to worry about Stiles’ death. Suddenly, Osborne realizes that Hardy is behind all the incidents. She goes to get him and sees Pike getting into her car. Together they go to a diner in the basement of an apartment building. There, she is surprised to find a living West and all the cadets, except for the dead Mueller and Kendal.
It turns out that they are all members of the G8, a secret counterintelligence unit. Rumors of their desertion and drug dealing were spread by themselves to create a deceptive cover story. All the work done was part of an operation to completely expose the Clayton drug syndicate. West, seeing Osbourne’s talents, invites her to join the G8.
Movie ending explanation
It immediately becomes clear to the Russian audience that the film “Clayton” is unusual and full of deceit. It begins with an episode about the builders of the Panama Canal to the monotonous sounds of Ravel’s Bolero. But after a few minutes, the scene changes and turns into an action movie, and then into a detective with thriller elements. The film ends almost like a comedy-farce, to the sounds of the same “Bolero”.
The whole circumstance becomes confusing as the two surviving Rangers give completely different versions of events. Investigators figured out not only who is lying, but also why. Although the film is made in good faith, it evokes conflicting feelings. The ending is witty and original, but may seem too contrived and unnatural. It may have lacked some professionalism in the script, but it is still strong and solid. The dynamism and rhythm of the film keeps you in suspense.
The cast of the movie is also impressive, though the roles don’t let the actors shine too much. Particularly stand out are Samuel L. Jackson and Giovanni Ribisi, who plays the role of a wounded homosexual ranger.