By: Hank Bagwell (Four Beers) –
Don’t let my rating fool you; this movie is worth the time. Anytime you have a cast of actors like George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey, and Jeff Bridges (three of them have statues of golden midgets, and the other guy surely deserves one) get together to do a film, you’re in for a treat.
Since this is my first review, let me tell you something about me that will help you understand how I think. I LOVE movies, films, flicks, whatever your level of snobby-ness prefers, but I rarely give films bad reviews because it takes a great deal of work on anyone’s part to tackle such a task, but every now and then, I’d rather be Andy Dufresne in a laundry room full of degenerate sisters. Since that isn’t how we rate things around here, though, pass the import beer, please. That being said, let’s proceed.
The film is hilarious. The director, Grant Heslov, is an Academy Award Nominee and cinematographer Robert Elswit is an Academy Award winner, and lastly, the cat who wrote the adaptation is
Peter Straughtan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and How to Lose Friends & Alienate People). When you combine this combination with a star studded cast, it’s going to, at least, be fun.
George plays Lyn Cassady, a guy who is a psychic spy, but he prefers the more PC term “remote viewer”. He is a legend in the art of remote viewing on an unofficial secret mission intoIraq, and is accompanied by McGregor, a reporter who is trying to find himself and his testicles (figure of speech). With all of their training and smarts, they find themselves in some of the most ridiculous situations that you would only expect from a teenage girl. “Jesus, you had like the whole desert to drive in, Lyn!”
On their mission, Clooney tells him all about how the US Government trained them to be “super soldiers” with “super powers”, under the guidance of Bill Django (Bridges), a 60’s hippie who convinces the Pentagon to search for more peaceful types of warfare. He creates a training program based on… well… “Amphetamines. Not to be abused, but very fucking handy.” This created a group of soldiers known as the New Earth Army. *Enter Kevin Spacey*. Spacey plays an over-the-top nutjob with a power complex. These guys play their roles to absolute perfection and will keep you laughing at their utter ridiculousness.
Again, I brag on the cast, crew and writers. The film is highly entertaining, mostly in its verbal exchanges and absurdity… They don’t all die in the end, but they’re all fucking crazy. It reminds me of the early Coen Brothers’ comedy style.
Sometimes it’s a bit much, but it’s supposed to be that way. It’s really as if these guys wanted to make a film in which they could showcase their talents (which they do well), but the story is hard to relate to for a normal person.
It lingers a little bit too long and is more predictable than Charlie Sheen’s next rehab visit.
I HATE when a movie has obvious political agendas. I get it… You got something to say… Tell your therapy group or your buddies. Stay the hell out of my theatrical escape, no matter what affiliation you might have.
Aside from my negative points, there is a lot to be enjoyed in this film, and if you play the drinking game with it, you’ll get drunk enough to wake up with a tramp stamp.
Take a Drink: every time you hear the phrase “New Earth”
Take a Drink: every time Clooney makes one of those classic funny faces
Take a Drink: every time McGregor looks at someone like they’ve lost their fucking mind
Do a Shot: every time you think, “WTF?!”