Monday, March 31, 2008

Lions for Lambs .. half-brained movie

I'm going to vent my frustration here at Robert Redford, supreme idiot, director and star of this anti-Iraq-war film. It also stars loonatic Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep.

Wikipedia has a good description of the plot and the critical acclaim the film received.

The reason I find this film so disappointing is because it had potential. It had an all star cast and was very professionally made and filmed. It revolves around 3 interesting and compelling story-lines, all of them

1/ Two brave young US marines stranded on a hill in Afghanistan under heavy fire. These two close friends had enrolled in the US marines to fight in Afghanistan instead of continuing as students studying political science in an ivy league university.

2/ A gritty and confrontational hour long interview of a young Republican senator Irving (played by Tom Cruise) by a veteran Washington news reporter (played by Meryl Streep).

3/ A meeting between a young promising university student who has a poor attendance record, and the professor of political science at an ivy league university (played by Robert Redford).

I'll tell you why this film sucked so hard .. the script. They need some writers with a brain. The film just seemed like it was pointless and couldn't communicate anything clearly. It was about "stuff" related to the Iraq war, it was very cynical, but who can even guess what kind of point it was trying to make, other than "something isn't right with what goes on in Washington".

There was actually a scene where Meryl Streep complained she never had the freedom to write what she wanted since her newspaper was bought by a big media conglomerate. And then a scene where she clashes with her editor over her proposed column. The journalist wants to write a strong anti-war piece making fun of the government's vague and poorly planned new strategy to win in Afghanistan and Iraq, as put forward by Tom Cruise's creepy character.

I don't know what the writers were smoking when they wrote the scene, where the editor reminds her that her job is to "report the facts" and then tells her she will lose her job if she goes ahead with an anti-war editorial instead of a news report on the details of the new strategy.

Seriously, how many thousands of anti-war articles have been written in every single newspaper without staff being fired ?

Meryl Streep feels it is her job to connect the dots and not to sell the war. Clearly, the writers believe that journalists are sacred higher beings, and the sheeple will just believe what they say, so it is very important that these super-intelligent journalists connect the dots for us. This self-righteousness is astonishing, as Meryl Streep reflects on the Iraq war with a deep sense of guilt, as she continually admits to "letting the people down" by "swallowing the lies and feeding the government propaganda to the public".

Then you have the scenes with the professor of political science, who tells his student its worth getting involved and getting active instead of being a cynic about politics. These scenes were indeed the most frustrating to watch, because the professor is supposed to be able to hold a discussion on certain topics, but instead avoids them like the plague. Not a mention about American history, the constitution, the role of government and the war on terror.

Instead, its a cynical sneering attack on "the current administration" as a bunch of incompetent and insencere fools who only want power. Rather than criticise the system even once, the film just blathers on about random stuff.

This is the same empty-headed drivel that leads people to blindly cheer for Obama. Because he stands for "change" .. and stuff.

I recently watched Rendition which contained some fairly graphic torture scenes, although it had a few unrealistic plot twists in it. But the general point it made about torture being immoral is a pretty solid one that the film can help support.

When it comes to Lions for Lambs, who knows what the general point is ?! It looks like audiences were fed up with it too:

On November 28, 2007, The Wall Street Journal reported that "Lions for Lambs has performed so poorly that it may not make back its $35 million investment.