Running to See This Film? Check This Review Out First

The Front Runner Poster

 

The world of politics was once a thing with gusto, a means to which to represent the people and bring change that benefitted the many.  Now it seems that the arena of governmental officials has become a new level of entertainment, especially given the portrayal of the players in a number of media designs.  Tonight though, the film I review is focusing on this playing field, portraying that fine line between media circus and political justice.  Robbie K here with another review, this time taking a look at the latest biography/drama called;

 

Movie: The Front Runner (2018)

 

Director:

Jason Reitman

Writers:

Matt BaiJay Carson

Stars:

Hugh JackmanVera FarmigaJ.K. Simmons

 

 

LIKES:

 

The Acting:  The movie doesn’t have many special effects to battle for your attention.  Instead it relies heavily on the actors to bring their talents to full speed in hopes of bringing the tale to life.  Jackman leads the way with his portrayal of a council man, dropping his Australian accent for American drawl filled speeches.  A balance of many emotions, he claims a victory in the polls of talent from this reviewer.  Simmons as well reprises his Whiplash majestic talents to bring a counter balance to Jackman’s antics.  In addition Farmiga brings her talents to the screen with piano playing, voices of reason, and a nice break from the political game.

 

The Use Of All Characters: This film may be about Jackman’s character Gary Hart, but it dives into much deeper facets of the political running for president.  In doing so, all parties have a decent amount of screen time and involvement in the film, helping to add their approaches, morals, and thoughts to the collective pot of political prowess.  Seeing these angles adds more dynamic nature to the film, helping to piece together the entire story at hand.  And having all these characters throughout the story, should give you someone to tune your attention, should senator Hart not be the one you wish to focus on.

 

The Multiple Angles:  Hitting each of the perspectives of this movie brings with it a more engaging film.  Hart’s journey for presidency is certainly very deep, and the fact it happened over three weeks, is a bit mind blowing given how much things cascaded out of control. Still, in this day and age of political fire, the supposed act may turn you off to the main storyline.  So it is nice to have so many parties included in this film, each one’s philosophy made apparent to show the heated war that occurs between the media and the political group.  It was nice to see this approach, seeing as most political dramas get a little too embossed in the main character’s agony and mistakes.

The Topics Of Discussion: This movie is one designed to stimulate discussion among the group.  Did the media have the right to take the stance they did?  Was his actions enough to cause such an uproar?  What about the individual reporters recruited in this chase? These are just some of the questions to run through the film as the events transpire.  As such, the Front Runner will certainly be a valuable tool for an ethics class/lesson, helping future generations weigh the decisions in their quest for the truth.  Perhaps this is the ideal place to display this piece of work.

 

The Speeches:  Say what you want about the movie, but it gets points for the adapted script and dialogue that brings with it.  The Front Runner is all about inspiring a lot of ideas and that comes through the motivational force of the writing.  What is the real words and what was the magic, but the Front Runner has those moments that give you goosebumps.  The turn of phrase and emotional impact of those moments will hopefully drive the point to you like it did to me.  Very nice writing guys.

 

 

DISLIKES:

 

Slow Pace:  Don’t be expecting a fast-paced movie here my friends. Gary Hart’s journey is very meticulous in detail, and though they skip days at a time, they do everything they can to cram the nearly 2 hour run time with all the details.  If you love the drama of a modern ABC show, you’ll be fine in this film, but for others like me needing a little more tension, well this won’t be the film for you. Speaking of which…

 

No tension:  Political dramas are supposed to have looming threats, with close calls and a ravenous hunger for the truth to be revealed, or at least some looming mystery.  Sadly, the movie leaves these out, going for more realism and moral discussion than entertaining bouts of political angst.  This is fine, except that is takes away from the theater visiting quality in this reviewer’s eyes. So don’t anticipate the House Of Cards spin my friends, they didn’t go this route.

 

Some Stories Not Full Circle:  A lot of plot points means a lot of threads to tie up, and this movie did a decent job of accomplishing this goal.  But not all stories got the nice finish I think they deserved, primarily involving the woman he held interest in and the campaign manager.  With such strong characters and the information starting to be gathered, why would they not finish in the strong manner the main tale ended?  Not entirely sure myself, but given this isn’t a mini-series on television, well it’s no surprise.

 

What Is The Truth?: These movies are always generating the question of how much is truth and how much is the movie magic.  Front Runner seems to be on the realistic side, but how much was left out or blurred is something to always question in these films. Depending on your political alignments, your morals on the topics of political hot topics, and other things at hand. Ergo, the movie is still up in the air of the extent of what happened.  Guess we have the internet to find out.

 

The Verdict:

 

The Front Runner may not be the political drama of the year, but it certainly brings a lot of unique perspectives on the outcomes.  I myself certainly enjoyed the multiple outlooks on the event, and the topics it spurred, while of course relishing the acting and dialogue written.  Yet, a little more movie magic in terms of suspense alongside some clarification of stories could have gone far for me. Nevertheless, this would have been best left to the history channel or mini-series, leaving this reserved for classroom discussions or at least in your home apartment.

 

My scores are:

 

Biography Drama: 7.0

Movie Overall: 6.0