Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Wag the Dog (1997)

American Political Movie #5

Synopsis: Robert De Niro plays a bearded, evil mastermind with a talent for lies and deception. (Oops – that’s the synopsis for Angel Heart!)

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “When the President is caught in a sex scandal less than 2 weeks before the election, the White House sends for ‘Mr. Fix It.” Washington spinmeister Conrad Brean (DE NIRO) needs a war to distract the public’s attention, and he calls on Hollywood’s top producer Stanley Motss (HOFFMAN) to create it.”

What Did I Learn?: Albania is a hard country to rhyme.

You Might Like This Movie If: You know that De Niro and Hoffman could sell anything - even old cars.

Really?: 1) They. Faked. A. War. 2) Is it easy to slip phony items into the Library of Congress? 3) I had a bit of trouble believing Stanley Motss would continue to insist upon taking cedit for the series of events, even after seeing Shuman’s death covered up. 4) Come to think of it, when the plane crashes, why are the three principal actors able to walk away without so much as a scratch, while the flight crew presumably dies?

Rating: Wag the Dog might not be the most believable political campaign film, but it’s a fun, and quite funny romp featuring fine performances and a lot of celebrity cameo appearances. You just have to root for these loveable misfits, even as they’re conning the American public into re-electing a pretty scummy Leader of the Free World. 8/10 stars.

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