Film-maker Amy Rice spent two years on the marketing campaign path with Barack Obama to make a 2009 fly-on-the wall documentary. So it’s massively disappointing that her new fictional political thriller is so insipid and unsatisfying, and fully lacks any form of genuine insider information of Machiavellian political skullduggery. It’s as generic as they arrive, although British actor Jodie Turner-Smith is good as a rookie reporter for the fictional Washington Chronicle who uncovers a scandal with the potential to blow open the presidential race.
Turner-Smith’s character, Eli James, is more and more annoyed at having to jot down clickbait life-style articles akin to “school dorm must-haves”. However when she uncovers a lottery scandal, she groups up with the paper’s Pulitzer-winning columnist Nicholas Booker (Brian Cox, giving a lefty-intelligentsia model of his alpha-ego male in Succession). Their relationship is properly performed, particularly by Turner-Smith, who makes Eli a satisfyingly sophisticated girl: tremendous sensible and aggressive, a bit reckless and most of all decided – as she’s needed to be as a lady of color in a largely male, largely white world.
The lottery scandal is linked to political funding and appears to steer proper to the Republican presidential candidate Patricia Turnbull (Ann Dowd, channelling Matilda’s Mrs Trunchbull). She’s neck and neck with the Democratic incumbent; then an unbiased enters the fray. That is mega-celebrity Olympic gold medallist Nate Sterling (ex-WWE wrestler John Cena): he’s promising to take motion on local weather change, and has the proper of lantern-jawed all-American jock attraction for rightwingers. Eli’s boyfriend Lucas (Luke Kirby) is a speechwriter for Sterling – who could also be too good to be true.
There’s a twist on the finish that’s anticlimactic and uninteresting, and the script is unforgivably clumsy in locations. Twice, characters receive important data illicitly from computer systems left unlocked by people with quite a bit to cover. Cox’s veteran journalist is legendary for consuming his steaks cooked bloody – not simply uncommon. However actually this movie may very well be juicier.