Director: David O. Russell
Year Released: 2022
Rating: 1.5

Dr. Burt Berendsen (Christian Bale) and his friend Harold Woodman (John David Washington) - both of whom were injured in World War I and nursed back to good health by Valerie Voze (Margot Robbie) - are asked by Liz Meekins (Taylor Swift) to investigate the suspicious death of her father General Bill (Ed Begley Jr.), but she winds up shoved under the wheel of a car (in a truly ludicrous scene) and they're accused of her murder.  This is what happens when you throw $80m at a first draft that's trying (and failing) to emulate a postmodern novel (paging Mr. Pinecone): Russell takes the so-called (and controversial) "Business Plot" - which was "uncovered" by highly decorated Marine Smedley Butler (here played by Robert De Niro) - and applies it to modern-day America in order to condemn Emperor #45's attempt to stop the peaceful transition of power (on January 6, 2021) and install himself as Dictator.  But that criticism is not very effective if the filmmaker is just as full of his own hubris and his movie is this overstuffed and pompous. Stacking the cast with some of the most talented individuals in Hollywood is a smart move, but one could make the argument Netflix's show The Pentaverate - which was created by Mike Myers (who plays MI6 agent Paul Canterbury) - gets across the same idea ... but in a more playful manner.