Movie Review: “Death of a President”

In short: what’s the big deal?

Contrary to all the hoopla that the right-wing press threw up around it when “Death of a President” debuted, it’s actually pretty gentle with Bush and Cheney. The film more or less just states that they started a war and, hey, it really pissed off some folks.

One of them decided to act.

Shocking stuff, I know.

Could never happen.

Disgruntled people never do stupid things like shoot government officials or bring down federal buildings in the Heartland.

Now, the assassination scene – despite all the oohs and ahhs about using digital editing to superimpose Bush’s face on the actor who takes the bullet – is over in a flash and is hardly going to make you think “Oh yeah, every movie hence is going to copy these guys just like they did The Matrix.” It wasn’t terribly dramatic or unsettling.

As the investigation unfolds, leftists and Islamic men are initial suspects. What an incredibly unlikely scenario! And there’s the risk of those being held being accused of being enemy combatants, denied due process, disappeared as it were – hey, welcome to the America of 2007.

There’s just not a lot of shock present, at least to those of us who don’t spend our evenings tugging on our wee willies while caressing Bush’s photo on the White House website. Sadly, there’s also not much in the way of tension or surprise in the film, and rather than being a deep dramatic study of the change in our culture and government since September 11 and the war in Iraq, it remains utterly predictable and obvious.

Its major failing is that it’s just not interesting enough to carry itself for 90 minutes.

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