Film review: "W." turns Bush's life into snoozefest
Published: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 - 9:39pm
Starring Josh Brolin
Released: Oct. 17, 2008
Note: Senior editor Lauren Piester differed with Lizzy in her opinion of "W." For Lauren's review, click here.
It was going to be the best movie I had seen in a while. The previews indicated that it would be a pretty hilarious account of President George W. Bush's life.
I was so PUMPED! There is just so much to say about Bush, or "Junior," as he is known as in the movie; he's not the most brilliant person alive, and his mannerisms and voice have been mocked since he first came into office.
Now, I thought, there's an entire movie dedicated to mocking his life! I must see it! Except … it was nothing like the previews. Or, well, I guess it was about Bush's life, but there was a definite lack of funny. I didn't like it — at all.
The movie splits time between George W. Bush the president and George W. Bush the young man trying to get out from under his father's shadow.
There are numerous scenes of W. in action as president laying the groundwork for the invasion of Iraq, and with every major decision he makes the movie flashes back to some time in his life that reflects on the situation. The earliest flashback starts when he is in college, and the movie progresses to the war with Iraq.
But, first off, let me just tell you that I don't sleep during movies. If I'm going to spend my money to go to the theater, I expect to not only stay awake but force myself to sit all the way until the credits are over to get the maximum bang for my buck.
However, I'm sad to say, I just couldn't help but doze at "W." Maybe it was because it didn't get out until 11:30 p.m. But that really should not affect anything considering I've been to later showings (including the midnight showings of the "Star Wars" movies).
I started off thinking that I was going to be sick when one of the first scenes they showed was Bush pledging to a fraternity and getting forced to chug down a bottle of Jack Daniels. That's when I said to myself, "OK, this is already not going well …," and I should've just asked for a refund right then and there.
There were a few funny parts, for example, talking about the Axis of Evil and how torture is like pledging. But it only got more and more boring from that point on.
I mean, on the positive side there weren't any more making-me-nauseous alcohol-chugging scenes, but the humor remained quite lacking.
There were a few funny lines, I guess, but most were used up in the previews or were only worth an under-your-breath chuckle. I started to look at my phone (because who actually turns those things off?). Only an hour had passed and it wasn't even half way over. Ah!
I looked over to see how my brother and his friend were enjoying it. They were both asleep, heads drooped down, mouths open. Well, that just showed what a trooper I was for being able to stay awake that long. But then I heard a loud gruntle … my mom, who had treated us to the movie, was snoring. I nudged her.
Finally, I decided there was nothing that amusing about the movie. I could stand skipping out on a few funny lines. There was too much time left anyway, so no matter how hard I tried I doubted if I could've stayed awake that long. So I leaned my head on the arm rest and closed my eyes (everyone else in my family was doing it!).
I had to be woken up once for my less-than-obscure deep breathing, and I probably disrupted the entire theater with my grumbling — although I highly doubt anyone was enjoying it a whole lot more than I was, unless you like watching history-class-style movies in your spare time. Because that's what it was like: a play-by-play of Junior's life with a couple of jokes inserted randomly.
I was disappointed, to say the least. I mean, I wanted outrageously funny, and I got snoring. Who knows? Sometimes if your expectations are too high it's easy for a movie to fail miserably; maybe that's what happened to me.
Maybe it really wasn't as bad as I thought it was, but it just wasn't what I had expected. I mean, the acting wasn't too bad. Brolin did a pretty good job with Bush's voice and mannerisms (as he especially demonstrated when he appeared on "Saturday Night Live" the day after the movie opened).
Either way, based on the hour of the film that I did watch (I guess it could've gotten drastically funnier during my nap time … it's possible), I would not recommend seeing "W." unless you need to pass your U.S. history final. There are much funnier political Web sites and television shows that are completely free.
"W." AT A GLANCE
- Starring: Josh Brolin, Ellen Burstyn, James Cromwell, Richard Dreyfuss, Scott Glenn, Elizabeth Banks
- Directed by: Oliver Stone
- Written by: Stanley Weiser
- Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama
- Rated: PG-13
- Runtime: 131 min.
- Release date: Oct. 17, 2008
- Summary (from IMDb): A chronicle of the life and presidency of George W. Bush by the director of "Platoon," "Wall Street," "JFK," and "Nixon"