Wednesday, November 11, 2009
In “The Men Who Stare At Goats” (opened November 6 throughout San Diego), a reporter named Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) is prompted by his failed marriage to try and lose himself in the romance of war.
As Wilton goes off to cover the Iraq War, he meets a special forces agent in the Middle East -- Lyn Cassady (George Clooney). Cassady reveals the existence of a psychic military unit whose goal is to end the war altogether. In an effort to find the unit’s founder, Bill Django (Jeff Bridges), the two set out on a vigorous mission across Iraq.
You're told at the beginning of this film that "More of this is true that you can believe.” And the U.S. Army attempting to create psychic super-soldiers – “Jedi Warriors” as they are called -- is almost believable. Anyone who watches “The Men Who Stare At Goats” should have a great time watching it even if you don't feel it's all that funny. But this film is more than just a comedy. This is also a film about redemption, mainly for Lyn and Bill. I have to admit, though, the film did make me laugh at numerous times, I was a just bit disappointed because I had high expectations going into it.
The reason this film was somewhat disappointing was because it lacked a central conflict. In a film there's always a problem that the main character has to overcome but this film didn't seem to have that, and I expected it.
With actors like George Clooney and Jeff Bridges -- who aren't the funniest actors on the comedy totem pole -- the casting director made a risky choice for the film. Although not so comedic, these two took on their roles and didn't disappoint. Both were not only funny but also played their parts very convincingly. I believe that director Grant Heslov helped them deliver great performances whether it was the serious humor of Clooney or the zany comedy of Bridges.
Overall -- despite no conflict and the obviousness of Ewan McGregor trying to hide his English accent – “The Men Who Stare At Goats” (rated R for language, some drug content and brief nudity) was very entertaining and fun to watch. It should be enjoyable for anyone who loves good comedies.
--Kevin Doughty is a senior at Mount Miguel High School. After high school he plans to go to film school in Los Angeles to become a director. He says, “Being a teen critic is great because it gives me a chance to watch films and learn how to critique the acting and cinematography. which will really help my career.”