Starring Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Alec Baldwin, Billy Crudup, Robert De Niro, William Hurt, Timothy Hutton, Joe Pesci
Written By: Eric Roth
Directed By: Robert De Niro
The Good Shepherd is exactly the type of Hollywood crapfest and hackjob wankery that seems to dominate the theatres during awards season. What’s worse is that it takes the prestige’ of mainstream cinema’s most overrated and truly obnoxious genres, the biopic, and turns it into fictitious life story loosely based on a real person. Fuck you, Hollywood.
As I was watching the film, I was sure that Matt Damon’s character Edward Wilson was a real historical character. He had to be, otherwise, the insignificant familial details, and quite frankly 2/3s of the movie, are completely useless. If this is a fictional retelling, why not keep to the interesting stuff? We didn’t need to see Wilson’s painfully slow rise in status in the CIA. If this is a spy film, why wasn’t there any kind of spying that anyone gives a damn about? The only time there is really the type of investigation we’re used to is when Wilson and company try to decode a short video clip in direct connection to the Bay of Pigs. But even here, I was confused at exactly how this clip was made and then given to the CIA, since essentially, the people in the video were the informers that directly led to the incident.
The biggest problem I had with the film was the wasted talent. As usual, Angelina Jolie plays the bored housewife, and her role has absolutely no consequence in the film maybe her babymaking skills, but that’s all I got. Even the star-filled supporting cast of John Turturro, Joe Pesci (who looks like a geriatric), Alec Baldwin, and director Robert De Niro (yes, director). For a movie with a nearly 3 hour running length, it definitely lacked any drive, and completely fell flat for a while during the second hour. Even the climactic ending was exactly the opposite of that a tame, but dramatic discussion. Now I’m not even a big action fan, so I didn’t need to see a car chase or anything, but come on, breath some life into this flop!
Unfortunately, the worst crime is the fact that people will actually see it. Without the cast, and the hubbub of De Niro’s role as director, this film would not be seen by anyone. Nor should it. But of course in Hollywood, a film like this may well clean up with a handful of awards this season, with its stiff acting, complete lack of humour and utter lifelessness. Because, I mean, that’s what the Academy looks for, right?
Bottom Line: Avoid this tripe. Boring and utterly terrible.
Favorite Scenes: Angelina Jolies cleavage. But only in one scene. Then she gets all milf on us.
Running Time: 160 minutes