Movie Review: The Men Who Stare At Goats (George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Ewan McGregor) 2009

Posted: December 2, 2012 in Comedy
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the men who stare at goats

Reporter Bob Wilton (McGregor)  is desperate for stories, he’s a small town reporter looking for a big story.  He finds one by interviewing Gus Lacey (Stephen Root) Gus tells of an army program called the New Earth Army, that trained army officers to develop extraordinary powers, like psychic powers, the power of suggestion, all used to disarm opponents without using weapons.  The program was developed by Bill Django (Bridges) using a mix of 1960’s flower power and new age thinking. The star of the program was Lyn Cassidy, (Clooney) who found people for the CIA using his borderline mystic powers.  The program was pushed in the 1980’s because the US thought the Russians were developing a similar program, but the program fell out of favor because of the eccentricities of some soldiers, and rivalries between Cassidy, and new recruit Larry Hooper (Kevin Spacey)

In 2003 reporter Wilton is in Iraq, after a bad breakup with his girlfriend, trying to prove his manhood and he runs into none other than Cassidy, who’s on another mission.  Little do the idealistic Cassidy and Wilton know that Django is now working for Hooper at a mercenary paramilitary outfit.  Do Cassidy and Wilton rescue Django, does Django redeem himself?

This is an ultimately disappointing movie, because it has such a good satirical premise, and lots of laughs during the first hour, and then during the last half hour the story gets muddled, and maudlin, and it can’t decide if it’s a funny movie or a serious one.  Ewan McGregor gives another good performance, although his American accent needs a loy of work.  Clooney is funny in this movie, although with a mustache, he looks like Tom Selleck. Spacey does what he does best, play a grade A jerk.  Jeff Bridges gives an ok performance, but I think he’s stealing from his own character, “The Dude” in the Big Lebowski, which was a much funnier movie. Too bad this one ran out of steam.

The Men Who Stare At Goats. Not baaaaad, not good either.

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