ReviewWriter: Lai Swee WeiWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects:
NACinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind”
One wonders with a title like that, you'll encounter a few people staring at goats in the film. True enough, there is...
We're being informed earlier on that "more of this is true than you would believe" and then tells a bizzarro story about the U.S. Army's attempts at harnessing psychic powers to create super-soldiers. Based on Jon Ronson's nonfiction book of the same name, it stars Ewan McGregor as Bob Wilton, a journalist covering the Iraq War at the time of the Bush invasion in 2003. Bob meets a man named Lyn Cassady (George Clooney), a private contractor with an unusual past, claiming to have worked for the government as a psychic spy. Apparently back in the '80s, the government had a top-secret unit of psychic spies who were trained to kill animals by staring at them and the most gifted of the group was Lyn Cassady.
Through flashbacks, we learn that in the 1980s, Lyn was mentored by Bill Django (Jeff Bridges), a Vietnam-veteran-turned-hippie who convinced the Army to let him turn soldiers into "warrior monks" through meditation, mind-reading, and so on. Django's students also included Larry Hooper (Kevin Spacey), who isn't as psychic as he thinks he is and who's jealous of Lyn's talent.
As far as comedy goes, there are some genuinely funny moments. However, some parts needed to be trimmed down like for instance, the constant Jedi references were amusing at first but quickly wore thin and felt like George Lucas had tempered the script. The film carried a disjointed plot (which can hardly be deemed a plot at all) and was peppered with flashbacks, to which Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey shared the majority of their on-screen time. Thus, throwing away any chance the viewer had of harbouring feelings toward the central story or its characters.
In terms of the actor's performance, Clooney is his usual charismatic yet goofy self and Bridges is suitably cast as a military hippie, while Spacey delivers that prim persona which he does effortlessly. On the other hand, McGregor is likable as usual with his posh English accent, but doesn't make much of an impression amongst the funnier and more interesting characters who surround him.
Overall, it started off promising, but seemed to have lost its way towards the end. Whether you like this movie or not, it depends on how acceptive you are of the ridiculous. But if watching men staring at goats is your cup of tea, then try this one for size.Cinema Online, 26 March 2010