Oh, to be home, to have the puppy back, is delightful. Hello, Montreal. I had a wonderful time but I assure you, you are all of Canada for me.
So, a while ago I was like, I absolutely must blog about this….movie….Josh forced me to watch.
First of all, I think this picture makes it pretty obvious that Rachel McAdams and Russell Crowe are reporters. She’s the young blogger tryna make her mark with a sensible hairdo that proves she is no nonsense and he’s the time-tested, bloated, over-fed, spoiled (these are things he actually uses in the script to introduce himself, mind you) superstar journalist whose own hairstyle demonstrates how raw and real and just a bit risque he is. Because he’s the superstar journalist. Don’t forget that part.
So S.O.P has several major flaws, which I’m more than willing to run down for you. No, no. Really. It’s my pleasure. I knew as I watched the first ten minutes of the movie that my choices were to soil the literal DVD disc and ship it back to Russell Crowe or to otherwise tell the people of the atrocities I suffered. Josh thought my soiling ideas were less than ladylike and here we are.
Russell Crowe is important because he is college buddies with Ben Affleck – I know, I too was like, wait….are they the same generation? Ben Affleck is a politician. The problem here – aside from the whole Ben Affleck is Russell Crowe’s son-in-law if anything – is that the two have zero. chemistry. Zero. And not buying that whole relationship thing? Sorta makes you not care about the whole shebang. But oh, wait, there’s plenty more reason where that came from.
Washington DC is super diverse. Which…just means there’s a huge black population. The director is dedicated to not whitewashing that fact and he shows you the real, the raw, the burger joint where Russell Crowe eats lunch. Because RC is in it, y’all. He uses words like nubian to describe his pen-necklace gift to Rachel and he has some wtf interaction with the black M.E. (played for a split second by Viola Davis). So, here’s why that whole THERE ARE BLACK PEOPLE IN DC thing is so noticeable. Erm. Because none of the main characters are and the two I can think of have the most trite interaction with Russell (who’s raw and real and up and through the thick of it, remember!). Seriously. Come to think of it, after about thirty minutes in, they totally give up on the HEY, THERE’S BLACK PEOPLE IN DC AND WE’RE NOT GONNA WHITEWASH THAT! shtick and just get right on down to the sucky plot thing.
OH. Wanna know how they really drive it home that RC is rru&tttoi? They tell you. O_O They tell you so. He introduces himself to the editor in chief (who didn’t need to be played by Helen Mirren because any white haired, exasperated person with an accent would’ve gotten the same crappy lines) and then he goes about subtly dropping this: “I know this guy cuz I’ve been in this business and so while there’s a tense conversation going on about the ethics and legality of what this newspaper did, I’m gonna keep making super personal quips to the Chief of Police because you guys really need to grasp how long I’ve been in this business and how respected and superstar I am”.
You know how you know he and Ben Affleck are friends? You guessed it. They tell you so. Because when you see them together and also when the whole “everybody has affairs and oh look at this twist, Ben’s wife actually wanted RC way back when and she and Ben are just living this way for his career and pfffffffffffffffffft”. Lame duck. Seriously, the only redeeming thing about this movie? Rachel McAdams and RC don’t hook up. And I’m giving that a lot of credit to try to keep this ship from capsizing.
So, after trying to spin the storyline I called in the first couple of minutes – and don’t get me wrong, I’m no psychic. It was just. Trite. And obvious. Hey, it all comes down to a guy with pretty organic sounding crazy. No, that’s it. He’s. Crazy. You tried to rest the entirety of a “political thriller” (I just peed on myself writing that) on the red herring of a guy who turns out not to be working for the people you already knew he wasn’t working for. He’s. Just. Crazy. O_O Oh that and the music from Constantine.
Every time the music started – you know, that amplified cello or whatever – I started looking around, trying to figure out where it was coming from. You know why? Because nothing was happening on the screen that even remotely correlated with the tension in the soundtrack. RC was driving, y’all. Driving. Really, cello? Easy, action. Just having the music from Constantine does not a thrilling movie make.
To sum it up. Rachel McAdams needs a better agent, RC typing up the story while the whole newsroom watches is just corny as all hell and Ben Affleck can write an oscar-worthy script (ahem, co-write and I’d love to see the division of labor on that) but he can’t read one and go, “Oh, wait, this sucks. No dice.” Basically. I’m very disappointed in all of you.