Movies: Our Brand Is Crisis (2015)

Let's start with the fact that I have never seen the 2005 documentary. So I'm basing my comments solely on this film. And it was boring.

The chief problem that I could see was that it wasn't entirely sure whether it wanted to be a comedy or taken seriously as a commentary of some kind. So it attempted to straddle the line and do both and therefore did neither very well.

The "jokes," such as they were, were weak and felt old, even for something that came out a year ago. The situations were cliché—there were scenes that I felt could've been lifted from or inserted into almost any movie. Nothing about this film felt specific. Which is weird since the setup is specific: dueling political consultants attempt to get their candidates elected as president of Bolivia.

I love Sandra Bullock (and have worked with her), but her character here—political consultant Jane—I just never felt any depth with her, never connected. Everything was at face value; there was nothing deep down. Even the ending didn't make me feel anything, and I'm sure it was supposed to. If I'd been connected to Jane, and like she'd taken me on an arc of some kind, I might have. But no. This story would have been better told from someone like Eduardo's perspective. (A young idealist working in the campaign office only to be crushed when his candidate fails to keep his promises.)

It does make me wonder why anyone wanted to remake the documentary as a dramedy that doesn't really deliver on either the drama or comedy. Maybe the documentary is amazing. And we all know Hollywood really only wants to recycle the stuff it thinks will bring in viewers. Studios have become insanely risk averse. They keep going to the same restaurants and ordering the same meals, offering us their leftovers as if we want their lukewarm, half-eaten burgers, fries, and pizza. Apparently enough of us do because some of these movies continue to make money. Sigh.

But anyway. Our Brand Is Crisis—at least this version of it—isn't much worth your time. You never really feel the crisis, nor is it funny. It just sort of lies there. Maybe it has altitude sickness.

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