By EW Staff
Updated April 19, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT
Richard Foreman

WHO’S GOT THE MORE impenetrable organization: the U.S. Army or the Writers Guild? Judging by the six scribes who cobbled together this adaptation of Nelson DeMille’s 1992 thriller (two of whom will be credited), Uncle Sam’s got nothing on Hollywood. Then again, when you’re making a movie about high-level cover-ups and top-secret sex videotapes, it might be a case of art imitating life. Perhaps that’s what scared away Michael Douglas, whose departure made way for Travolta as a warrant officer investigating the vicious murder of a general’s daughter. Since rank has its privilege, the new guy got final approval of his female lead. ”He went on vacation, looked at a lot of videos, and said, ‘This is who I wanna work with,”’ says Stowe (”The Last of the Mohicans,” ”12 Monkeys”). ”It was very flattering.” She nearly reconsidered though, after they began filming in sweltering Savannah, Ga. For one fight sequence, West (”Con Air”) had his stars roll around on fresh sod brought in just for the shoot. ”It was grown in cow manure,” he says. ”After three days, the whole place stunk.” For Woods, it was worth it. ”It’s one of those pictures that makes a billion dollars,” he says, with characteristic enthusiasm, ”and wins an Oscar.”

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