There really isn’t much to say. This movie’s message was convey from the get-go. We as audience are learned enough to know that message so nothing is new here. Behind every campaign and speech, someone is pulling the ropes and feeding the right words and that is what this film is about. And plus there was a documentary on this subject so I don’t really know why it went so wrong.
First off, I give props for them to make the opening credits somewhat ‘different’. They opened with a voice over and fade out to logos. I was actually hopeful when I saw that opening credit. Something different! But boy were those comments from RT totally accurate. This movie is all over the place. It has seriously drama bits, humour, attempts at heart-strings and a lot of other stuff. It didn’t do a good job with this basket. Nothing really sticks beyond the cynical view of voting campaigns. And the worst part of it is was the jarring change of pace and focus. Drama bit here and all of a sudden humour! And it doesn’t do it well.
Secondly, the fake hand holding. Yes that is a thing. It is a thing here. Sandra Bullock’s character comes from a rocky past. Her nickname in this world is ‘Calamity Jane’ which means she’s really good and really bad; or one would think with a nickname like that. However, all we know about her past and why she left the showbiz was all because of her failures against Billy Bob Thorton’s character. But somehow, she’s suppose to be really great at her job. I mean I get all that so I do not understand why the script required every character to bring that fact up over and over again throughout the film. It feels like mentioning it enough will make us forget that they never once told us why she was even good at her job beyond the newspaper clippings at the beginning of the film (And that wasn’t even very clear).
And lastly, the characters. Out of Bullock’s character, I didn’t really care for them. Actually, that’s stretching it, I didn’t really care for her either. Sad thing is that they tried to build her up into this might ‘Calamity’ yet everyone in the film doubts her, I mean even her employer doubts her and tells her she needs help but yet she’s suppose to be this amazing strategist? For me, Bullock was just playing any other character she played before: emotional. There wasn’t much to it. At the beginning of the film she’s sick so she’s out of the game but yet they don’t build up the other characters. Then slowly she becomes someone they can rely on and yet not totalyl trust. And then at the end, the team still doesn’t get her. So what the heck? (Mackie nodding and giving her the go ahead to ‘do your thing, gurl’ doesn’t count) Why have a team of people when you clearly have the focus on one person and everything else is disposable ?(haha, the irony of that) I don’t even have to get into the others cause nothing was done really.
Long story short is that this movie has forgettable characters, a lot of horrid dialogue and just poor narrative decisions (just like the Black Mess, it was actually a flashback story that made NO impact on the narrative).
So yeah, with all that said, do you still want to watch this? You get to see Bullock’s butt.
But all in all, this movie is a reminder of the behind the scenes of politics and it is a good reminder. And it couldn’t come out at a better time since both US and Canadian politics (heck, the world) is up in the air and up for grabs. So it is unfortunate for them to have this calibre of a movie at this time. It really is just lazy and points to more of a “look at all those lies and manipulation of politics” rather than a positive view of how citizens should get more involved in their local/national political understandings (but that’s thinking too out of the box for this type of film).