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'Fair Game' is only fairly decent

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POSTED: May 20, 2011 11:31 a.m.
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Political intrigue isn't enough to carry "Fair Game," so says reviewer Sasha McBrayer.

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“Fair Game” is a political drama on DVD now. It stars Naomi Watts and Sean Penn as a real-life couple whose world was turned upside-down seemingly due to George W. Bush and a single state of the union reference to weapons of mass destruction.
Please do not confuse 2010’s “Fair Game” with the sad Cindy Crawford flick of the same name from 1995. That’s a big no-no!
In the more recent film, Naomi Watts is Valerie, a commendable covert CIA agent who balances saving the world black-ops style with being a wife and mother. Her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, knows his wife is a spy but cannot ever be told details about her operations.
’Round about 2003, when the CIA asks Valerie whether her husband would be available to visit Niger, a country he’s intimately familiar with, to try and learn whether the locals have been selling yellow-cake uranium to Saddam Hussein, she sets up the meet and Joe agrees to go to work for free.
In the end, his opinion is that there are no WMDs and when President Bush announces just the opposite, Joe goes on a tirade, publishing stories telling what he believes to be the truth. Then the vice president’s office targets Valerie, blowing her cover to the world.
I enjoyed the parts of the film that almost made it a thriller. That Valerie gets burned is so wrong and I know the audience feels her pain.
I’m a Naomi Watts fan usually, but I must say she fails to capture the remarkable toughness of the real Valerie, who we do see at the beginning of the film.
What’s worse is that Joe is utterly unlikeable and selfish throughout the film, making him very difficult to empathize with.
Any film that vilifies either conservatives or liberals is going to annoy half the population, no matter what.
That is true here, and while the movie is supposed to portray actual events, I couldn’t help but notice it was based upon Valerie’s memoir.
That’s all I have to say about that. I’m not a fan!

 

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