A petty thief is gunned down in an alley and a Congressman's assistant falls in front of a subway - two seemingly unrelated deaths. But not to wisecracking, brash newspaper reporter Cal McAffrey who spies a conspiracy waiting to be uncovered. With a turbulent past connected to the Congressman and the aid of ambitious young rookie writer Della Frye, Cal begins uprooting clues that lead him to a corporate cover-up full of insiders, informants, and assassins. But as he draws closer to the truth, the relentless journalist must decide if it's worth risking his life and selling his soul to get the ultimate story.Written by
The Massie Twins
At 37:55 a closeup of the Gulf War group photo is onscreen briefly, the camera cuts away and then at 37:58 cuts back to the same photo which has been altered. The smiling face of the soldier (Bingham) at the far right has been changed to a different unsmiling face. Also, the faces of Collins and Bingham have been Photoshopped the second time the photo is shown. See more »
I would label this a "decent-but-unmemorable political thriller," something you'd probably enjoy viewing but a few weeks later had forgotten much of it. Usually, movies which star Russell Crowe are more dynamic, although Crowe still mesmerizes as usual.
I liked the twists and turns at the end, but one has to wait about two hours for those and that's a little too long a wait. As slick a production as it was, and with acceptable acting from actor, it was many of the characters here that seemed more like Hollywood stereotypes than real-life people.
There was Crowe with the hippie looks from 30-40 years ago and who has the daring of James Bond; the Washington newspaper editor being a foul-mouthed Brit (crusty Helen Mirren) who uses profane expresses the Americans wouldn't know; the neophyte blogster (Rachel McAdams) being drop-dead gorgeous and getting her way despite tough bosses; the bad guys being anyone connected with the military (man, is that getting old, from Dr. Strangelove to today's films - it never changes), the professional sniper/assassin conveniently missing the good guy (Crowe) although he could kill anyone else......you get the picture - a few too many liberal film clichés. The most realistic character was probably "Rep. Stephen Collins (D-Pa)," played by the least of the actors, Ben Affleck.
As for minor characters, I thought "Dominic Foy," played by Jason Bateman, was fascinating, as was Robin Wright.
Overall, for entertainment purposes it was okay; not something you'd yawn and fall asleep watching, although you might be confused here and there. Through the gimmicks of hyped-up music and sound effects here and there, the suspense was evident throughout the two-plus hours. It's also an interesting look at today's battle between old and new "media," meaning newspapers and the Internet, respectively.
Overall, it's enough to warrant as a purchase at the rental store but not as a blind buy despite the "name" cast.
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