Movie Reviews (such as they are)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Death of a President

Event television, that's how they describe stuff like Death of a President. And even if "they" don't in this particular case, I would.

I'd heard of this movie for the first time just a few short weeks ago, but I didn't realize it was British-made until yesterday. I also didn't realize that it was going to get a theatrical (cinema) release in the US, while we would get a best-seat-in-the-house TV screening.

As ever in my reviews (such as they are), I don't want to give too much away here. The premise of the movie, though, is a look at the sequence of events following the assassination of George W Bush on 19 October 2007, including the arrest of the prime suspect.

This was a compelling movie. Indeed, it was so well made, generally speaking, that it felt totally real. There are some visual effects used here and there -- placing actors playing Secret Service men into scenes with Bush, for example -- but it's handled with expertise and nothing really jars on that front.

The film holds up well, too, in tone and feel in comparison with similar movies, documentaries, etc that we've all seen on the JFK evidence and conspiracies, meaning that it has good "real" feel to it, even though there are a couple of instances where it was perhaps overacted a tiny bit. Nothing too over the top, but just the odd chink in the armour of naturalism.

What is key, though, is how scary are the prospects of what would happen in such a situation. The erosion of personal liberties in the post-9/11 world fully informs this film, and it takes but the smallest of leaps in imagination to guess what type of shit would be acceptable after the assassination of a president in the third millennium.

Stirring stuff, this. I give it 66 out of 100.