Our Brand Is Crisis

Director: David Gordon Green
Year Released: 2015
Rating: 2.5

Once-successful political strategist Jane (Sandra Bullock), who has been battling depression and drug abuse after a series of losses, is asked to help a candidate run for president in Bolivia ... and compete against old rival Candy (Billy Bob Thornton), who's as shrewd as she is. The core of the film is the back-and-forth competition between Bullock and Thornton - they're both fond of tossing around quotes from long dead writers - which provides a great deal of interest; not so much effort goes into discussing the actual problems with the nation they're manipulating. Green's embellishments are, of course, present (an ill-advised - but symbolic! - "bus race," Bullock turning to the sauce and behaving like a co-ed) and Jane's 'turnaround' at the end - finally 'seeing the plight' of a poor country (those IMF blokes appear so very quickly, causing a riot) - doesn't feel genuine so much as a way to scold the crude Americans for being so callous with how they treat Latin America. The magnetism of its leads carries it, but more needed to be made of the nature of this "crisis" business that gets mentioned so frequently.