Our Brand Is Crisis (2015)
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie, Joaquim de Almeida, Ann Dowd, Scoot McNairy, Zoe Kazan, Reynaldo Pacheco
Directed By: David Gordon Green
Written By: Peter Straughan
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 47 min
On this trip to the movies, I was joined by several friends. John, Kim, Esther and Tyler. All looking to get their weekend started right with some quality entertainment starring one of Hollywood’s most successful and talented stars, Sandra Bullock.
Comedy-dramas, ‘dramedies’ if you prefer, are always tricky to pull off. They’re built from two opposing entertainment sensibilities that seldom mix well, and quite honestly when they do seem to work, it’s because one of those elements is given priority over the other. Giving you either a drama with a few funny moments to lighten the mood, or a comedy which occasionally has to get serious.
Our Brand Is Crisis doesn’t do that, and its 50/50 split between campaign shenanigans and dirty tricks, versus the important real life implications of electing a country’s leader, never really settles. Leaving the movie without a clear objective, and had me wondering why I should care about any of it.
There are essentially three important elements fighting for attention in Crisis. The first is the rivalry and controversial history between Jane Bodine (Sandra Bullock) and Pat Candy (Billy Bob Thornton). The second is the Bolivian election and the tactics used by each campaign to support their candidate, and the third, a commentary on elections themselves. If just one of these elements was given priority over the others, Crisis might have worked. But as it’s delivered in theaters, with its kitchen sink approach to story telling, it just doesn’t come together. Our Brand Is Crisis wants to have a serious political conversation, while mooning you.
The trailers I saw for this film mostly focus on the humorous elements in the film. Our Brand Is Crisis however, is a little more serious. Expect decent performances, and an uneven narrative. Crisis is rated R for language and some sexual references.
This is a decently made film, but not one that begs to be seen in a movie theater. A HD rental to watch at home will service this film efficiently enough.
One of the more fun moments in the film, was when Jane Bodine’s and James Carville’s tour buses meet on the trail, and a race ensues.