Politics! They seem to be everywhere and in everything, and in this social media charged day… well it only continues to get more extreme. Yet, the movies are a perfect place to tell stories that are covered by the news, helping act as a PSA to the corruption the world can cause. My first review today is about a political film, that takes the champions of the current movements and puts them in the iconic roles who started the removal of corruption. What’s in store? Well, this reviewer is going to take a non-political, non-biased review as he looks the film:
Movie: Bombshell (2019)
- The Setting
- Decent Pace
- Good Use of Main characters
- Fantastic Acting
- Contained Political Fury
- Factual Approach and Detailed
- The Makeup
- Character Utilization Imbalance
- The unnecessary introductions of every character
- The Side story that sort of was not necessary
- Kate McKinnon side story to some extents
- Did not appreciate the Asides
- Lackluster Suspense
A historical movie is all about getting you into the moment and immersing you into the world, and today’s technology continues to make that happen. Bombshell drops you right into the warzone of the Fox News Scandal and with it brings the world alive as you see the secrets behind the close doors of the executive board room. All the desks, hallways, and offices paint the suspense and add the elements needed to get the emotions going, that slight touch to help get you more into the world. The make up as well transforms our cast of characters into the spitting image of those involved, helping to add that realism element to it, and for fans of the story help impress you with the magic of movie make up. It’s a great recreation of the characters and the combination of setting and costumes does the background lifting to help you get into the mix.
Okay, now that we are past those aspects though, what else can you tell us about the movie you liked. Well it starts with the pacing for me. Political movies, especially political biographies, are often slower paced and getting lost into the details of a convoluted story. Fortunately, Bombshell keeps things moving at a steady pace, always working towards the goal of the girls against abusive boss, but also keeping the character development going. For a movie packed with stars, this films did not fail to utilize its cast well, making sure to give the whole story from multiple aspects and giving as complete a tale as possible. Because of this approach, you can find a champion to be behind, maybe due to the morals they stand behind or perhaps having similar experiences or stories to relate to. It’s all brought to light in a fantastically acted manner, by a cast who have portrayed these characters beautifully, all while keeping the heated tension in check. Theron probably takes the lead for me of all the cast, her character getting the most involvement, but also in just the sheer diversity of emotions she had to portray in the short amount of time. As for Robbie and Kidman, they succeed in their roles as well, hitting their accents, emotions, and struggles perfectly and helping immerse me into the full journey to success. As for Lithgow, well stunning performance by him as always and one I quite enjoy to continue seeing as he tackles the roles of people from history.
As for the story itself, the movie succeeds in bringing a political, factual piece to record and keeping it rather contained. Unlike some other movies that have come out this year, Bombshell manages to keep many scenes relevant, deliver it’s point quite well, and not rub it in my face that this was an immoral incident. Much of the dialogue, the details they included, and even the thoughts of the cast have relevance to the tale and add those extra details to help you get to the bottom of the corruption at hand. By taking this approach, and containing the political fury, Bombshell was able to deliver what felt like a factual approach to the film, and by including the CEO’s perspective, got to see a more accurate portrayal than what other movies sometimes do.
However, Bombshell is far from a perfect movie in terms of cinematic design for me when compared to other films. For one thing, the character utilization is not quite equal for me, with again Theron getting the majority of the scenes while her other cast mates sometimes fall into the background. The trailers portray this to be three on one going against the boss, using teamwork and experiences to help gradually prove the truth. Yet, the movie is nothing like that, with the stories semi connected, but not coordinate and feeling more like a Venn diagram where three circles happen to coincide at times. To sort of add onto this, you’ll start getting introductions to a lot of other people in the news, or history with the news into the movie for your viewing pleasure. I appreciate the compass, and I think fans who have read, or know the story will like seeing the casting for the figures, but I also think given the little they are involve in this movie the extra effort to point them out was lost on me. All these supporting characters just added little outside of visual examples of the CEO branch’s side with little to counter the strength of the others.
Other detours that did not do it for me were a few of the side stories that they used to help for character development or political prowess. Despite how contained it was, the movie did sometimes step back into stirring the flames and going on subjects that will divide the audience. The Trump story shows what the CEO was doing to try and manipulate favor of his employees, but the level of depth into the argument I did not think was quite necessary for the grand story. In addition, the Kate McKinnon story had its moments that added to the story, but again dove into unnecessary avenues that added extra time and took away from the main story. These asides, as well as the breaking the fourth wall, were techniques that did not quite hit me as an audience member, but I’ll give them nod as an inspirational call to the key demographics that this movie is trying to inspire. It’s again the use of these super preachy, political hits that detract from the story and will be received well by a limited audience in my opinion. Finally, the lackluster suspense was another limitation for me. Call me spoiled by the magic of movies, but I had expected a lot more fight into this movie, and some added drama could have spiced up things quite well had they added a little more suspense and obstacles. Those anchors they introduced or some more of the executives trying to use their power, all could have been integrated to make a more exciting picture.
Bombshell is a great installment to the biography world because it makes a realistic story, that seems more factual than dramatic. It uses good visuals and great acting to help with bringing the story to life and gives a complete tale that should be inspirational for many. Throw in that it kept the political frenzy to a minimum, and the film opens up to a wider variety of people who can see the horrors these women faced. Yet, the movie still has not quite found the art of drama vs factual and could have used a little pep in the department to help unleash the full impact and excitement of the movie. In addition, the side stories and over-political moments still creep in and though not the worst I’ve seen, felt they added little to the story over all, but stuck around for some representation politics. Overall, the movie is not awful or overbearing, but it could have had the same impact but on a streaming service or rental and that is where I would encourage you to watch it.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 6.0