I Ran Against Us (2009)

I Ran Against Us (2009)
I Ran Against Us (2009) DVD / Blu-ray

By: Billy Arceneaux (Three Beers) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Almost four years into the Presidency of Barack Obama, it’s kinda hard for me to remember what things were like under George W. Bush. Sure, I remember the wars, the fear, the abuse, the scandals and the ‘isms’. And yes, many of his policies have moved on to our current administration (to my disappointment). But, and I’m not sure exactly why, I feel as though it all happened decades ago; in some distant past I can barely remember.

Who?

I Ran Against Us, an independent film straight from NewOrleans (shout out), succeeds in jogging my memory.

In this story,AmericaandIranare inching close to war. When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatens our country with a nuke, Bush is forced to give in to one absurd demand; that Jon and Sandy get back together. With the guidance of a Patriot Act-loving federal agent, the two former lovers must find their spark, before the evil doers find theirs.

A Toast

It took one moment early on for me to remember the Bush era, and with a strange level of fondness; when Jon is given a makeshift water boarding with a Styrofoam cup’s worth of water and a damp cloth, both applied in rapid order. The federal agents in this movie, lead by Focal (Ladson Deyne), provide some of the best political satire I’ve seen in years; a spinoff might be in order.

Also worth noting is Leanne Cochran asSandy. She makes her character – who is put in quite a position – very relatable and down to earth, amidst a rather ridiculous backdrop. Very good.

Beer Two

On the back of the DVD I was given, it says in the first sentence that this movie has “a quirky Cold War-era vibe”. This works well considering the story and setting. However, the copy I viewed was in color. This might only be an issue for me as a previous version of the film was in black and white – a presentation that better fits the vibe they were going for. Again, this is probably not a beer worthy problem, but I just feel a little let down that they opted to colorize this.

I Heart B&W

Beer Three and a Swig

Despite the wonderful political satire, the movie relies HEAVILY on juvenile humor. For me, this kind of comedy had better be treated with kid gloves. Otherwise, it becomes painful to watch. As examples, Jon’s best friend constantly makes dick jokes (in just about EVERY scene he’s in),Sandy’s current boyfriend’s catchphrase is ‘bra’ and everybody says ‘fuck’ WAY too much. If these things were more subdued, I probably would’ve enjoyed the movie much more.

I prefer the soft kind (subtlety) to the hard stuff (obnoxious).

If you are bothered by the fact that only a handful of federal agents (and zero journalists) are dispatched to deal with a national threat, take a swig of your choice of hard liquor.

Verdict

While not perfect, I Ran Against Us features some very funny political satire, and a charming at times romance.

 

Bonus Drinking Game

Take a Drink: whenever Brad says ‘bra’.

Take a Drink: if you wish Focal would just taser the crap out of Burnsy.

Do a Shot: because at least Bush is no longer President*

*meant to ignite a war of words in the comments section.

About Bill Arceneaux

Independent film critic from New Orleans and member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA).

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