Sunday, January 20, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty

Boy, I haven't written a movie blog review in a while.  In fact, it's been over a year.

A friend of mine posted on Facebook that he wanted to see Zero Dark Thirty and he was probing for interest.  I quickly swam to the bait and bit the hook.

We went to the somewhat unsafe Owings Mills theater.  Fortunatley there were few people there, thus reducing the probability that we would be mugged, robbed, assaulted, abused, molested, battered, pick-pocketed, slashed, beaten, stabbed, shot, sliced, knifed, or generally made uncomfortable.

Zero Dark Thirty is the movie about the search and capture of Osama bin Laden, the terrorist master mind behind al Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks on the United States, the bombing of the London subway, and the bombing of the Spanish trains, to name a few.

The movie is almost like a cinematic medley.  The first half of the movie is about the search for bin Laden.  Then there is the building of the case to make the strike against the compound where they suspected bin Laden was hiding, and then there was the actual military strike.

Zero Dark Thirty stars Jessica Chastain as Maya, the CIA agent assigned to the search for bin Laden, who through 12 years of stoic research, on-field experience, and a growing hostile and confident personality eventually becomes a regular bad-ass.

The movie displays some of the darker sides of the war on terror, such as torture and terrorist attacks. Many scenes are disturbing with a powerful images and sounds that will pound your chest.  As the intense screaming figure said in the old commercials for indoor lacrosse, 'we sell you a ticket for the whole seat, but you'll only need the edge!"  This was certainly the case for Zero Dark Thirty.

The movie also stars Jason Clark as a fellow investigator, Kyle Chandler as Jason Bradley, one of the field directors, Jennifer Ehle as Maya's closest friend in the desert, and Jeremy Strong as the jack-hole director over the search.  The movie is based on real events, but cannot be identified as a true story as much of it is still classified.

I remember reading of the political storm brewing because of the fear that classified information was leaked to help write and produce the movie, in addition to the movie containing and promoting pro-liberal viewpoints.  I cannot comment on the leaks as I obviously have no idea what information would have been classified.  However, as a right-wing conspiracy theorist myself, I am confident in saying that I found no pro-liberal viewpoints in the movie.  I think it was just political grandstanding and sensationalism to create a ruckus.

Zero Dark Thirty is Rated R for language, violence, including scenes or torture and death from terrorist attacks, and smoking.  Yes, smoking.

I highly recommend this movie and I give this movie 4.5 stars.  It is long, probably about 2 hours and 20 minutes long.  I would have given it a little higher rating, but I think that Jessica Chastain lacks energy.  Her characters are always sort of dry and restrained.  In what you would expect as an intense scene of highly charged emotion, Chastain was melancholy and seemingly disengaged.  Regardless, you should still see this movie.
My Zimbio