Our Brand is Crisis

by | Nov 3, 2015 | 0 comments

A Film Made with No Love or Passion Receives the Such

The political subgenre is beginning to be abused by Hollywood. Television is already seeing an overflow of political shows: (House of Cards, Madam Secretary, Veep, Scandal, etc.), however film has been very steady with its flow of political films, we’ve had casual appearances like Ides of March, Syriana, Lions for Lambs, etc. However, the latest injection in the film stream: Our Brand Is Crisis is an extremely bland and tired film that defies everything of what a political drama should be.

Our Brand Is Crisis is a remake of the documentary of the same name. The film deals with the 2005 Bolivian presidential election. An American campaign strategist, Jane Bodin (Sandra Bullock) is hired to help the old ex-president Castillo (Joaquim de Almeida) regain the top position. Castillo is a mean, arrogant, and corrupt fellow that’s down 28 points in the polls. Jane has to reform her candidate and have him race to the top and beat Rivera (Louis Arcella), the favorite candidate backed by another American campaign strategist and rival to Jane: Pat Candy (Billy Bob Thornton).

The story is an incredible true story of an underdog who defies all odds. However, what is more surprising is that such a subject matter has you glued to the screen to see how such a gest happened, but as time passes you start realizing that this film isn’t exploring how at all, in fact it’s not really exploring anything. There is an incredible opportunity to see the clashes of two different political processes and ideologies, but this film leaves that out completely. Then there was the dramatic aspect of it, the film didn’t want to take itself seriously at all, it seemed to be more focused on pouring all possible jokes in; so many and so terrible that some of the jokes you confuse for stupid actual dialogue. Then there are the ubiquitous inspirational quotes, the screenwriting team seemed to have spent their time on a Tumblr page and just copied and pasted everything that seemed like it could be taken seriously. The only smart aspects in the film were actual events and ideas that were proposed by the real people and can’t be messed up by any filmmaker.

The cast had notable names, but the film seemed to be incredibly focused of Jane Bodin’s story, and that made Sandra Bullock the center of the film. However, Sandra Bullock just seemed like she didn’t want to be there at all. She was incredibly indifferent and in an occasional scene where she decided to put some effort, it was where the film really shined. Billy Bob Thornton is the other big name here, but him, along with the rest of the supporting cast, just seem to float across the screen occasionally spurting out lines that move the story along. In fact, of the whole cast, the only ones who comes out, as having worked hard on the project are Anthony Mackie and Zoe Kazan, who play members of Jane Bodin’s team. Mackie and Kazan are actually taking their role seriously so that their lines are actually heard by the audience and their few comic lines actually land. That may be partially because Mackie is desperate to show that he is a better actor than what he is confined to in the Marvel Universe as the minor character: Falcon. But despite their best efforts it is not enough to save the film.

So in the end with a cast and script that seem to be written with no will or passion, a film comes out that is full either flat jokes or cheesy quotes. The filmmakers and actors were making the film half asleep, and thus the audience consumes it in the same fashion.







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