Friday, August 20, 2010
Written by Peter Straughton, Jon Ronson (book)
Directed by Grant Heslov
Starring Mark Renton, Doug Ross, Jeffrey Lebowski, (spoiler alert!) Keyser Söze
Reporter goes to the Middle East to cover the Iraq war. There he meets a man who claims to be a retired (and later, re-activated) member of an army psi-ops division. Jinks ensue.
i can't figure out what this movie was missing, but it was something. it just didn't have that extra umpf to make it really good. i still don't really know what it was about. maybe a lack of direction to something. maybe psi-powers just aren't enough to carry the whole plot. i thought the flashbacks were really the meat of the movie, but there was a lot of focus on ewan and his deal with clooney in the present. i really wanted to like this movie but it just fell short. all the good parts were in the preview and they were just glued together with uninteresting gobbledygook.
i do believe that most of this movie is true. i can see the military competing with the ridiculous rumors of the cold war in the 80's, and the bureaucratic ridiculousness of our involvement in the middle east in the present.
good concept, good cast, shmeh movie.
This movie had almost all the right ingredients, starting with a stellar cast. Ewan does a pretty good American accent (as usual) and he's opposite Clooney, who I tend to really enjoy in comedies. And then you have Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey, complimented by some other great supporters including a neat little bit by Robert Patrick.
The film includes a series of flashbacks, and the standpoint of the viewer shifts seamlessly through each time period and voiceover-or-not in each of those periods. The few action sequences took on various styles which really helped to bring the satire to the fore, but only where it made sense; and the other scenes felt both specific to their needs and general to the movie.
But the production was better than the material. While the outline of the plot was really good, the script was only mediocre. There were some good jokes and we actually laughed maybe a handful of times. I'm not sure if I hope that the Star Wars jokes were written with Ewan McGregor in mind or not; but while they're funnier with him they are--with the exception of the most-circuitous one--not funny enough. The jokes could have hit harder, and while the end of the film was fine (and it probably shouldn't have been funny) the resolution of the actual story was neither all the way there nor particularly funny.
Finally, and apropos of nothing, fuck you George Lucas.