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Movie Review: State of Play

STATE OF PLAY

When a Congressman’s assistant is murdered, a team of reporters join forces with the police to get to the bottom of the case. They delve into the politician’s past to find answers.

CAST: Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck, Robin Wright.
DIRECTOR: Kevin Macdonald

We watched this one on Netflix last night solely on the basis Helen Mirren was in it, knowing nothing about what the movie was all about. As it turns out, Helen was in fine form playing herself, next to Russell doing a dab impersonation of, well, Russell Crowe (aka Cal McAffrey). And, oh, look, as the side kick to his snide, seasoned reporter, read: pain in the ass, there is Rachel McAdams looking 12 years old playing upstart blogger Della Frye.

Throw in Batman and… oh, what? Oh, okay, Ben Affleck playing U.S. Congressman, Stephen Collins, being, well, Mister Woody himself—if he got any more wooden, I swear he’d sprout leaves—and you have one very expensive cast in a very mediocre thriller involving corrupt senators, a power-hungry private security firm, PointCorp (aka Halliburton lookalike), and a mentally unstable, rogue ex-military hitman.

Oh, and look, poor Robin Wright was in there too, wasted as the shafted wife of Batman giving the complex plot away near the end, because, someone had to clue in Russell and Rachel as to who had ordered the hit on the sleazy, I’m gonna sleep with you, document stealing spy/assistant, Sonia Baker (played by Maria Thayer).

All the President’s Men this is most definitely not! Watch the BBC (2003) six-hour mini-series written by Paul Abbott and directed by David Yates. So much better.

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