16 June 2011

15 June - "Back of the car, not a rear-entry situation"

Burn After Reading (2008)
dir. Joel and Ethan Coen (O Brother, Where art Thou?, 2000)

George Clooney (Fantastic Mr. Fox (voice), 2009)
Brad Pitt (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, 2007)
Tilda Swinton (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, 2010)
Frances McDormand (Fargo, 1996)
John Malkovitch (Being John Malkovitch, 1999)
Richard Jenkins (Eat Pray Love, 2010)
Kevin Sussman (Sweet Home Alabama, 2002)
Dermot Mulroney (The Family Stone, 2005)
J.K. Simmons (The Ref, 1994)
Olek Krupa (Behind Enemy Lines, 2001)

If you heard that this movie wasn't very good, you would be justified in believing those rumors. Burn After Reading wasn't very bad, but I certainly wouldn't plan on seeing it again either.

I think the problem is that while it's fairly obvious that it was meant to be funny, it very overtly missed the mark. First of all, we're tricked in the very beginning into thinking that John Malkovitch is the main character, maybe he was supposed be, but George Clooney and Frances McDormand take the lead, plotwise, for the bulk of the remainder. The big joke appears to be that McDormand and Pitt are running around talking to the Russians and pretending to be all conniving but what they've really got is a disgruntled analyst's crappy attempt at a memoir.

That's the joke, everyone dies for no reason at all. Sorry if I spoiled it. There seem to be some allusions to government ineptitude, but I am less clear on those points.

Gosh, I'm nearly ten days behind on my movie reviews. I have a backlog of two movies I watched after this one. Hopefully I have more to say about them more than a week after I watched them. More complaining: Never has a comedy been so boring. Really disappointed, Coens.

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