Apr 30, 2010

The Men Who Stare At Goats Review

image from Amazon
Premise:
Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) is a reporter looking high and low for a story when he finds himself surrounded by an ideal story - American military psychic spies. Jedis. Some can run through walls, some can control minds, some can telepathically kill. Bob Wilton begins shadowing Lyn Cassady (George Clooney) who he believes is a retired Jedi, only to find out he's on a mission and has no choice but to follow him.






Standouts:
As someone who read the book, the first thing that stood out to me was how incredibly different this film adaptation was. I'm not going to be one of those people that say "the book was WAY better than the movie!" because in my mind they were really apples and oranges. I can understand why it wasn't a direct adaptation, because the book was a long series of short stories and interviews with Jedis and those involved in the Jedi training program.

The main thing that stands out in this movie is that it's labeled a comedy, but its not all that funny. At times it's kind of a dramedy because a character's pathetic nature becomes a running gag. Some of the "comedic" parts are more inner-"haha that's kinda funny" more than "LOLOLOLOL!!!! ROFLCOPTER!!111"


My Highlights:
Bob Wilton and Bill Django (Jeff Bridges as a somewhat grizzled retired Jedi brought back into action only to be disenfranchised by the current environment) warn Lyn Cassady not to eat the eggs he's been given. When Gassady asks why, the pair admit they laced all the powdered eggs with LSD. To the oblivious Wilton's dismay and annoyance, Django then admits he also laced the water, which both he and Wilton had been drinking.


Overall Rating:
Not a bad movie overall. It holds a very interesting plot and the acting isn't bad, though there are times you want to believe in the Jedi powers only to discover it may all be a delusion, so it brings upon an awkwardness and confusion. Also there's a strong reliance on physical-comedy rather than anything else, so it can get a bit repetitive. I'd give it 3 1/4 *'s out of 5, or 6 1/2 out of 10.

Nick's score: 4 *'s out of 5, or 8 *'s out of 10


When You Should See It:
It's not the kind of movie that's so hysterical or drawing that you need to run out and see it, but it's not anything worth the effort of avoiding. Should it end up playing on HBO, FX, USA or some other television network and you have the time to watch it, give it a watch. Maybe you'll love it and become a practicing Jedi. Or a delusional conspiracy theorist.

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