I very much want you to watch this film. This is one of those films where the content is important, it tells us about the way our world works and the despicable things that are sometimes done in our name. If you think that the dirty politics and ungentlemanly conduct shown is limited to the United States, you’re mistaken.
Based on a true story (words that, admittedly, bring fear to my heart), this is the story of Gary Webb, played by Jeremy Renner, a journalist at a smallish town newspaper who stumbles onto a big story. The story so big, that it could make or break his career. A story so big, that he never sees the ramifications, never sees what is coming until it’s too late.
Now all of that sounds very dramatic and the makings of a pretty good film but…….the truth of the matter is that it is very hard to make a good film. Making a good film doesn’t just require a lot of things to not go wrong, it also requires them all (or at least mostly) to go right. Kill The Messenger doesn’t do many things wrong, so it’s not a bad film, it just doesn’t get them right either.
Now, as I’ve said in reviews before, film is art and all art is subjective. There will be some people out there who love this film. Thing is I doubt there will be very many. The message of the film is very worthy but never really draws you in. The performances are fine, the cinematography is fine, the pacing is fine….everything is just fine.
Given the documentary style of Kill The Messenger and the dramatic sounding name, I’m willing to bet that some people will go in blind and expect an action film like Bourne Legacy. Those people will be extremely disappointed. Kill The Messenger is slow and thoughtful and almost entirely action free. In fact there are a couple of fast motorbike scenes that seem to be put in there just to wake you up a little.
Should you watch this film? Yes, the story being brought here is well deserving of your attention, but while I like the small independent films, and want people to support them as much as possible (that way more get made), you might be better off watching this on Netflix in a few years time, as it would make a pleasant surprise.
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