Man of the Year
Movie Stats & Links
||Robin Williams, Christopher
Walken, Laura Linney, Lewis Black, Jeff Goldblum
won't get most of it.
||The first half is
good for the both of you.
||Some scenes when
they attack Eleanor.
A lot. Second half: Not so much.
||The debate is a
||Too many political
jokes to list.
||James G. Robinson,
Itís always a bummer when the trailer for a movie gives
away pretty much every funny scene. Such isnít the case with
"Man of the Year," a movie where Robin Williams plays Tom
Dobbs, a kind of Jon Stewart type of character. The problem
with the trailer is that it doesnít tell you this movie is
going to take a truly dark turn, one that sadly plays right
into the conspiracy hands that it is really big business
that controls the world, maybe with the help of some
politicians. Hereís the story, and the one the trailer
doesnít tell youÖ
Man of the Year
A Movie Review
Tom Dobbs plays your general "Iím a comedian and I give
you the news and I skewer politicians at every chance I can"
kind of guy. All of a sudden, at the urging on one of the
members of the studio audience, Tom Dobbs finds himself
running for President of the United States, and since he
came late to the party, he finds himself only on the ballot
in around seventeen states, but in those states he's getting
around 10 Ė 20% of the polls. At first he handles his
campaign as a straight man, sticking to his talking points
and not being funny, but then, during the debate, he finally
lets loose, being the candidate everyone wanted him to be.
Meanwhile we find out that a computer company has been
given the exclusive rights to supply computer voting booths
for the upcoming election, and that one of their employees,
Eleanor (Laura Linney), has found that there is a flaw in
the software. Upon telling her boss she is assured the flaw
has been fixed, and that there is no problem.
Low and behold as the results from the election are
rolling in, Dobbs ends up winning the election, but Eleanor
is sure something is wrong, tells her boss, but Stewart
(Jeff Goldblum), sort of the muscle for the computer
company, now takes the movie into a dark turn. Yup, all of a
sudden it is Eleanor trying to get to Tom and explain to him
he didnít win the election, truly figure out why the
computers were screwed up, and run for her life from the
company goons trying to kill her. This is where the movie
took a dark, and bizarrely unnecessary turn.
Eventually Tom and Eleanor meet, Tom becomes smitten with
Eleanor while Eleanor wrestles if she should tell the
President-Elect he really didnít win the election, but her
story is punctuated with scrutiny because the big, bad
computer company drugged her, had her hospitalized, and her
Fine, I probably gave away too much about the movie, but
I was disappointed that a movie that had so much potential,
especially during the first half of it, took such a dark
turn when it really didnít need to. Sure, they could have
kept the story about the computer screw-up, but I feel they
should have been more lighthearted in the computer company
bungling up the software. The reason I say this is because
it wasnít some grand conspiracy on the part of the computer
company to get Dobbs elected, they just didnít want to be
shown as bumbling goofs who canít seem to get a computer to
add votes properly (maybe they should have watched "Wheel of
Fortune" like Eleanor ended up doing).
So, a movie that was blasting away at the satire during
the first half of the film, and being pretty funny about it,
took a lousy turn, at least for me, and lost most, if not
all, of the funny. What a bummer.
I liked Robin Williams bringing back the funny, and
thought he did a decent job, even if his joke repertoire was
sort of old, Christopher Walken was great, as usual, and I
really enjoyed Lewis Black who is coming into his own in the
movies. But the dark turn the movie took was so absurd that
it pretty much destroyed the enjoyment I was having.
If you want a funny, 4 star out of 5, satirical look if a
TV comedian who reads the news actually ran for President
and ran his candidacy like his TV show, go see "Man of the
Year" but leave after the scene where you can appreciate
Laura Linneyís boobs in her "going to bed" clothes before
the bad guy shows up. If you stay, you get about an hour of
a bad, 0 star, political thriller for most of the rest of
the flick. Average the two together and I give "Man of the
Year" 2 stars out of 5.
Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!!