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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Review: THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS


I often forget why George Clooney is so famous. Every now and then when a trailer for one of his movies pops up, I think to myself, this guy?



But every now and then I see one of his movies and I remember - he is unspeakably awesome. The Men Who Stare at Goats is another treat that reaffirms why Clooney is so famous. Maybe I'm forgetting a past role when I say this, but this might be my favorite role of his. And his performance is supplemented fantastically by Ewan McGregor (though he struggles a bit with an American accent).

Grant Helstrov's The Men Who Stare at Goats is the story of Bob Wilton (McGregor), a journalist trying to prove to his ex-wife, but ultimately himself, that he is worth a damn. So, he goes to Iraq. Bad move, one would think. However, it's there that he meets Lyn Cassady (Clooney), an ex-soldier with an incredibly newsworthy claim - he has superpowers.

In an ironic and somewhat Arrested Development-esque scene, Lyn explains to Bob that he is a Jedi Warrior. He comes from a secret government program from the 70's and 80's which intended to create supersoldiers by training soldiers to kill and fight with their minds. In the same tone one talks about the weather, Lyn says he is a psychic, can control clouds, phase through walls, and even kill animals with his mind. Bob immediately begins to follow Lyn around on his newest "mission" determined to tell the story of what is either the most amazing story, or the most amazing crazy person. But soon enough, he becomes involved in things that are bigger than himself... Hollywood, yada, yada.

I really liked this movie. It's not really marketed as a comedy, but it totally is. There are great jokes in almost every scene and they are delivered awesomely by the brilliant comic timing of both Clooney and McGregor. And, to top it all off, they are supported brilliantly by Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey.

But that's not really enough. To have a great cast is simply a plus. It's not what won me over in this movie. What won me over are the few scenes of real depth and heart. Who says there can't be political satire, or even some social commentary? That's what makes this movie great - the writing.

And let's be honest, what's better than hearing Clooney tell Obi-Wan Kenobi himself that he is a Jedi Warrior?

4 stars

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