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OUR BRAND IS CRISIS | © 2015 Warner Bros. Pictures

“There’s a sucker born every minute” - David Hannum

My mom always said politics brings out the worst in people. As a kid I never really understood what she meant by that. I had an idea, but ideas aren’t as stable as knowing and understanding what she meant now that I’m an adult. She’s right. Whether at a job, an organization one may be involved with, or simply the day-to-day crap we go through with family and friends, in one way, shape, or fashion politics will rear its ugly head. And that’s just among us peons, can you imagine the hamster-wheel of bullshit among those involved with government? Any government!

In this day-and-age, we see it more than ever. Turn on any news network and it’s one silver platter of propaganda after another. I like to call that “mindnipulation” – getting one to buy into all sorts of policies that sound great. But when push comes to shove, all the hoopla is simply theater. And not the Broadway type, either. It’s a different kind of theater. Think WWE, only with older faces wearing suits. And they’re all pumped by the machine. Teams they’ve all sought out to sell what sounds good, bad, or indifferent. A spin of fear factor and all for the purpose of your vote.

CASINO JACK (’10), THE CAMPAIGN (’12), CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR (’07), and SYRIANA (’06) are all great films (among others) that display the sinister side of our government’s function. Different in genre, identical in exposure. OUR BRAND IS CRISIS is just another leech of reality that adds to this pile of chaotic nonsense.

Inspired by true events exposed in a documentary of the same title in ’05, CRISIS presents a timely and satirical look at a twisted, behind the scenes South American campaign, seen through the eyes and actions of the strategists-for-hire (Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton) who are pulling the strings. Luring citizens into an abyss of lies as relevant as our current presidential race, it explores the often outrageousness and psychotic lengths to which some people will go in their warped enthusiasm to get the job done.

The end result? Eh… it is what it is. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. Ten years after a well-executed documentary (I wholeheartedly recommend) on American fingers dipped in Bolivia’s 2002 presidential election, the Hollywood story does zero to generate any kind of empathy and/or thought-provoking reactions about our unnecessary involvement($) across the globe. But as a fan of satire and Bullock and Thornton (the film’s saving graces), CRISIS winds up a watchable piece. As one with a cynical outlook towards politics, the film manages to expose the REAL side of it: nothing about the people, everything about the money – even if it means lying to the masses.


Grade: C+ / Genre: Comedy, Politics, Drama / Rated: R / Run Time: 1:48

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie, Joaquim de Almeida

Directed by: David Gordon Green

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