The Contender

Bomb Rating: 

That everybody is sick and tired of the Clinton scandal -- and the ad nauseum punditry that followed in its wake -- is just confirmed by this film. It's nothing but talking from beginning to end.

Through its beating of the proverbial dead horse, "The Contender" forces us to relive a scenario we were happy to have nearly forgotten. Oh, sure, the film is probably a bit prescient, and one might suppose that a Vice Presidential nominee like Laine Hanson (Joan Allen) could be nominated by a president like Jackson Evans (Jeff Bridges) after the death of the previous office holder. One might also expect that a right-winger like Shelly Runyon (Gary Oldman) would then dig up anything he could on Hanson to kill her nomination, both because he was against the politically correct nature of the nomination and because he thought a better candidate existed in Jack Hathaway (William Petersen).

Then he digs up allegations of a sex show put on by Hanson while an 18-year-old college freshman pledging a sorority. This dredges up all those questions about propriety which director Rod ("Deterrence") Lurie notes over and over (and over) again are so terribly inappropriate.

This film raises incredibly important questions like: Should a Vice President be able to give good head and why the hell didn't somebody tell me about these sorority gang bangs? Talk about a great advertisement for increasing fraternity membership. Ultimately, this is a film that could easily be converted into an audio book because it's solid dialogue. If I want solid talk about politics, all I need to do is turn to CNBC just about any time of the night. I really don't want to have to go into a theater for it.

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