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Movie Breakdown: Kill The Messenger

October 8, 2014


People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

Jeremy Renner is Gary Webb, the infamous reporter who uncovered that the CIA had imported and sold cocaine in the US to support the rebel army in Nicaragua.

The Reality:

Kill The Messenger is an odd film.  Jeremy Renner is really good in it, and the true story that it’s based on is certainly interesting.  What I didn’t necessarily get about the movie though is the way it’s essentially the Cliff’s Notes version of both the story that Gary Webb reported and what happened to him after he published it.  Why not dive more into detail on what Webb had uncovered about the CIA and their supposed drug-import/distribution ring?  Is it because there wasn’t enough to show?  Was it actually all too loosely connected?  Or if Webb’s story was just the bait to get me roped in on how the CIA retaliated (allegedly?) by smearing his name and reporting, why not showcase that more?  While watching the film I honestly felt like Dr. Grant and the gang in Jurassic Park when they’re on the fancy ride and want to know all about the dinosaurs but it just keeps moving along without providing any real information.

Kill The Messenger could have been an eye-opener, but instead it just skips along over the top of anything legitimately important.  It’s certainly not a bad film, but I wouldn’t rush out to see it unless you’re a big Jeremy Renner fan.

The Lesson:

I guess some stories really are too true to tell.

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