A political satire set in Turaqistan, a country occupied by an American private corporation run by a former US Vice President. In an effort to monopolize the opportunities the war-torn ...
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A political satire set in Turaqistan, a country occupied by an American private corporation run by a former US Vice President. In an effort to monopolize the opportunities the war-torn nation offers, the corporation's CEO hires a troubled hit man, to kill a Middle East oil minister. Now, struggling with his own growing demons, the assassin must pose as the corporation's Trade Show Producer in order to pull off this latest hit, while maintaining his cover by organizing the high-profile wedding of Yonica Babyyeah, an outrageous Middle Eastern pop star, and keeping a sexy left wing reporter in check. Written by
Srdjan Dragojevic was initially attached to direct this film. He did an extensive rewrite with his Serbian writing partner Dimitrije Vojnov. When Dragojevic left the project this draft of the screenplay was scrapped. The only piece that remained is the imaginary Democracy cigarettes brand that had already appeared in Rane (1998). See more »
As Omar leaves the restaurant wearing his glasses, the camera pans back to the dinner table where his glasses can still be seen. See more »
You know that all my writings have called this occupation a violation of international law and its practitioners are criminals?
Do you really believe all this stuff you write?
Anyone who can causes this much mayhem when they didn't have to? The amount of suffering that I've seen?
[helicoper flies overhead]
[speaking on the phone]
Ok. Hold on a sec.
[speaking to Natalie again]
But the way I look at it is this: the day we can actually feel and hear all the suffering of mankind, that's the ...
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BeTolerant.com is listed twice in the thanks section of the credits, despite this resulting in an odd number of entries and causing the last entry to have to go against the rest of the layout (centered, vs two-column) to keep things even. See more »
In this satire of the commercialization and 'lightheartedness' of war, John Cusack plays Brand Hauser, an assassin sent to to 'Turaqistan' to take out Omar Sharif, who is doing some oil business that will spell trouble for the former Vice President of the US's own company. In addition to this, Hauser must juggle his fake position as a trade show producer, a wedding for pop princess Yonica (Hillary Duff), and a nosy Liberal journalist, Natalie (Marisa Tomei).
Assessing the technical aspects:
The acting (by the main characters,at least) was good, as was to be
expected. Some of John Cusack's dialogue was quite obviously not written for him as he often seemed uncomfortable saying it. . . maybe unrealistic is more accurate. Joan put forth a great, and often hilarious, performance. Marisa Tomei, while I've never been a big fan of hers, was more than suitable for the role and worked well. Hillary Duff, however, was pretty terrible. They needed an attractive Middle Eastern (or Russian, or whatever that accent was supposed to be) pop-star. Unfortunately, they went 0 for 3 with her.
Like I said above, the writing seemed a little stiff and mismatched
at points, especially John Cusack's dialogue. Not much of it, mind, but some. The story also got a bit ludicrous at points, which is fine for a satire to a point, but it took it to a whole new level here. Luckily, the Cusacks and Tomei keep a relatively cool, calm demeanor throughout, and that makes a nice even mix of the craziness of the film and the levelheadedness of the actors.
Joshua Seftel, who previously had a drought of real credits to his
name, did a fine job with a rather wide-spectrum film. He handled the small ($10 million) budget very well, stretching it to make it appear to be much more. Seftel also managed to nicely blend the humour of the story. . . with the painful and hard-to-watch parts of the real war (including slaughter of civilians, etc.).
As far as the general satire goes, its exaggerated look on the
commercializing of war is very well done, especially the 'Golden Palace Poker' ads on the U.S. tanks. At points, it becomes a little too much, but, in the end, it still accurate portrays what it's going for an a young 'Mel Brooks'-type of style.
Overall, the film is very well made for the meager budget and it's definitely worthy of a look. It won't go down as one of the great satires of cinema, but it's certainly not the worst.
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