A Very Bad Movie
Previously by C.T. Rossi: The
Law Is Dead
imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life" ~ Oscar Wilde
sign of a clever auteur is to achieve the illusion that there is
a sole individual responsible for magnificent creations that require
thousands of people to accomplish." ~ Louis B. Mayer
I guess that
every movie critic’s idea of hell is being eternally trapped in
a frightful viewing room subjected to some vapid, endless film.
To be truly hellish, this 9th circle cinema couldn’t
be a cringe-worthy, stinker-of-a-flick (lest it have some type entertainment
value and perhaps charm by its ineptitude). Rather it must be mundaneness
personified and pabulum in its purest essence. It would be the Void
that stares back – the banality
One hopes that
grace preserves pious film critics from such a fate. However, the
American electorate is not so lucky. Through our passive role in
the political system designed to keep us disengaged, we are essentially
"watching" such a movie and any unbiased reviewer should
find themselves scathingly mad, accordingly:
I went into
Election 2012 with low expectations but as it turned out
my expectations weren’t low enough. Billed as the next thrilling
installment of the Election saga, notable previous installments
including Election 2000 and Election 2008: A New Hope,
what was delivered failed to live up to even the most modest expectations
of fans of the series.
The plot of
Election: 2012 – loosely based on Sir James Frazier’s
tale of a dying and reborn man-god, The
Golden Bough – was a manager’s special of recycled clichés
and hackneyed subplots already exhausted by the earlier installments
in the series. For those unfamiliar with the mythos, the film is
set in a dystopian not-too-distant future, where "The President,"
an all-powerful leader, must undergo the ceremonial "election"
and run the gauntlet of the "electoral college." Incorporating
sci-fi elements (lifted from a vastly superior British
TV series Dr.
Who), how The President accords himself during the trials determines
whether he will be "regenerated" into a new form. Even
for those familiar with the previous movies, one is left to slog
through a confusing and unimaginative screenplay that fails to establish
any dramatic tone and never answers the question of why anyone should
care about the lead character.
In an overt
homage to Luis Buñuel’s 1977 classic, That
Obscure Object of Desire, the role of The President, in
different aspects, is played by two actors: Barack Obama, reprising
his role from A New Hope, and newcomer Mitt Romney. However,
here (unlike Buñuel’s masterful use of both Carole Bouquet
and Angela Molina to show different sides Desire’s Conchita)
the use of the cinematic device was ham-handed, and one could find
very little difference in the portrayals of the lead offered by
Romney and Obama.
neglecting the powerful (yet underdeveloped) themes of the effects
of endless war and impending threat of economic collapse, focused
instead on threadbare figure of The President himself. This narrative
choice proved disastrous in part because of the wooden performances
of the two leads. Obama’s handling of the role was sedated in comparison
with his performance in the earlier A New Hope, while audiences
were subjected to Romney’s torturously paralyzed acting style with
the notable exception of a few minutes in the Denver action sequence.
much ballyhooed twist dénouement (SPOILER ALERT) where we
learn that the action sequences were in actuality the internal dialogues
of The President (Do the writers think no one saw Fight
Club?) hardly came as surprise to anyone who paid attention
to the heavy-handed foreshadowing laced throughout the film.
In a series
of unremarkable films, Election: 2012 may prove to
be the least memorable and (hopefully) signals the end a franchise
which has long run its course. That something new is in the offing
may be found in a teaser scene after the credits where a minor character
seems to be implying a new direction for the series. You can watch
it by clicking here.
If the studio and producers build on this fresh plotline, it might
breathe new life into the once-great film series. No official announcements
have been made, so only time will tell.
Rossi [send him mail]
is an attorney who lives in Mobile, Ala.
© 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or
in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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