Monday, May 3, 2010
The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)
A reporter, trying to lose himself in the romance of war after his marriage fails, gets more than he bargains for when he meets a special forces agent who reveals the existence of a secret, psychic military unit whose goal is to end war as we know it. The founder of the unit has gone missing and the trail leads to another psychic soldier who has distorted the mission to serve his own ends.
Actually based on the book that tells the true story of how the Armed Forces started a training program to develop soldiers with psychic/new age abilities such as "remote viewing", stopping an enemies heart, mind control, and other way out powers, as told by Daily Telegram reporter Bob Wilto (Ewan McGregor) who's a spineless reporter who's goes to Iraq to try and become a "War Reporter" to impress his wife who has just left him for his Boss at work. Things get real screwball after he meets Lyn Cassady (Clooney) who's a former "Jedi Soldier" who claims to have been part of the Armies Elite pscychic special forces. They journey through Iraq and embark on the adventure of a lifetime, as Cassady tells Wilton his tale. I laughed a few times, and thought Clooney was sad and funny, and Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges are great in their roles. Not an Oscar winner but entertaining.
No, it's not funny and I'm not sure it was meant to be. In fact, I'm not sure what it was meant to be. It isn't awful but it's not really great either. If everybody had been blonde haired and blue eyed I might've thought it was Village of the Damned all grown up. But then, these men aren't "all grown up" either. They're older, but age has brought them no maturity and no apparent wisdom. It's closer to Ferris Bueller's Day Off with a hint of alcohol and drugs and a touch of Buzz Lightyear thrown in for good measure since you're never sure the main characters can really "fly". Great cinema it ain't so don't expect that and you won't be disappointed.