Thursday, December 14, 2017

Burn After Reading (2008)

CIA Movie #3 
Synopsis: Ok, there’s this abrasive-and-alcoholic CIA analyst who gets fired while his wife is sleeping with a Treasury agent who’s secretly banging a narcissistic gym instructor with body issues, who in turn is blackmailing the ex-analyst, and…ok, it’s complicated. 
Blurb From the DVD Jacket: “An all-star cast, including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and John Malkovich, come together in this outrageous spy comedy about murder, blackmail, sex addiction and physical fitness!” 
What Did I Learn?: 1) Appearances can be…deceptive. 2) You can pick a Kryptonite lock with a Bic pen. 3) Lactose intolerance and acid reflux are two entirely different things. 
Really?: 1) So, a guy who looks like George Clooney and works as a Treasury agent needs to resort to online dating? Sure, whatever… 2) I had a hard time believing the CIA would deliberately engage in an obvious case of obstruction of justice when there was absolutely no reason to do so - Cox had a low security clearance when he was employed, and his memoirs contained no vital secrets. Why not just call in the FBI? 3) Holy shit, are there any sane characters in this film? 
Rating: Burn After Reading isn't the best Coen Brothers movie I’ve seen, and it ends far too abruptly for my taste, but it’s still a very funny movie about a lot of extremely unlikeable people. I especially liked John Malkovich’s portrayal of the batshit-crazy Osborne Cox, and Frances McDormand as the unhinged-and-surprisingly amoral Linda Litzke.  8.5/10 stars.

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