Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
It's downright sad how similar this film is to "The Recruit." I mean, for the first 20 minutes I'm thinking, "This is just like the fiasco with 'Ants' and 'A Bug's Life'' 'Dante's Peak' and 'Volcano', and 'Gandhi' and 'Hilda: Queen of Lesbos Island'."
In "Confessions," television producer Chuck Barris (Sam Rockwell) has the perfect cover for a CIA agent. In "The Recruit," James Clayton (Colin Farrell) is the perfect CIA recruit. In "Confessions," Jim Byrd (George Clooney) shows up out of nowhere and gives Chuck a speech. In "The Recruit," Walter Burke (Al Pacino) shows up out of nowhere and gives James a speech. In "Confessions," Chuck is trained as an elite CIA killer. In "The Recruit," James is trained as an elite CIA killer. In "Confessions," Chuck Barris gets it on with another CIA agent, played by Julia Roberts. In "The Recruit," James gets it on with another CIA agent, played by Bridget Moynahan. George Clooney has a mustache. Al Pacino has a beard. In "Confessions," Chuck Barris creates "The Gong Show" where performers are "killed." In "The Recruit," James Clayton kills a character named Zack.
This is Clooney's directing debut. Apparently, George's goal as a director is to cast all his friends in supporting roles and just assume that audiences won't spend so much time playing "spot George Clooney's friend" that they completely lose track of the meager plot. Personally, I find Hollywood slumming, like the kind exhibited in this film by the likes of Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Roberts, to be a total distraction. It's like watching different scenes from "Zelig" except that it's Pitt or Damon or Roberts jumping up and down behind Adolf Hitler.
Whatever intrigue the film is supposed to have lies in the validity of Barris's story. Was he indeed both a successful creator of television game shows and an assassin for the CIA? Here's the terribly unfortunate result of this film's annoying desire to appear like some kind of stylized, low-budget, indie film: I didn't care.
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