Why “W”: A Movie Review

By Mark David Blum, Esq.

Why I saw “W” instead of Pineapple Express was a last minute stupid change in plans. “W” was neither interesting nor funny. Dialogue was food laden yet vacuous of substance. In the end, I regret the $19.00 spent for the privilege of suffering a 2 hour PTSD flashback.

Make no mistake; “W” is a horrifying movie. What is obviously a caricature of the incumbent President’s administration contrasted with his early life is by no means funny. Those of us who lived through the period and predicted our current situation cannot possibly sit by and laugh at the idiocy behind the process of thinking that went on in the White House.

Director Oliver Stone hammers home ad naseum the message that the father would never be satisfied with the achievements of the son. Josh Brolin never stops eating and talking long enough to have a real conversation with his father, gently portrayed by James Cromwell. Richard Dreyfus needed no costuming to portray the slithering “Vice” President Cheney. Thandie Newton was a wonderful cartoonish buffoon as a yes girl Condie Rice and Jeffrey Wright eloquently portrays a neutered and spineless Colin Powell. Every cast member was spot on.

Of course, director Stone could not resist being himself as he attempts a psychoanalysis of Bush 43’s thinking and attempting to locate himself in the world. Historically lacking in real meat and potatoes, the gruel served up by the ensemble cast did a relatively good job in pretending what were the last minute discussions prior to and the entry into the War in Iraq. Maybe Stone is stuck in Viet Nam or has mommy issues. The movie “W” is all about both in the guise of Iraq and the chaos in the White House decision making process. You are tempted to feel sorry for the lost soul that is George W. Bush but doing so feels “evil” and you resist at all costs.

In the interests of full disclosure, I will confess I slept through parts of the movie. The movie never seemed to end and perhaps that is Stone’s final comment. Like the War in Iraq, I fought sleep throughout the entire film because it just went on and on and gave nothing back for the investment of time, expense, and energy. If not for the candy I brought into the theater, I would have left there feeling as empty and completely drained as the national treasury.

At best, the movie belongs on television as a sit-com. It could use a laugh track or some other life support as the experience is a waste of time and money. The real sad part is the movie is an historically accurate documentary.

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