Our Brand Is Crisis | Film review – Screwball political satire fails to spark

Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton go toe to toe in Our Brand Is Crisis as rival spin-doctors seeking to sway the outcome of a Latin American election in this satirical comedy inspired by Rachel Boynton’s 2005 documentary of the same name, which charted the dark arts of US political strategist James Carville during the Bolivian presidential election of 2002.

Bullock pulls off some nimble pranks and pratfalls as her burnt-out consultant, cajoled out of self-imposed retirement for the job of steering an unpopular local candidate to victory, tries to find her feet amid the high altitude of Bolivia and the low blows of the campaign.

The set up induces hopes that a screwball comedy with real buzz will be in store, something along the lines of Preston Sturges’ hilarious 1940 movie The Great McGinty, which gleefully skewered the US political system and was stuffed full of entertainingly quirky characters.

Sadly, these hopes are soon dashed. Bullock and Thornton (her crafty adversary) fail to generate the expected sparks, the supporting cast is dull and the satire is disappointingly blunt.

Certificate 15. Runtime 107 mins. Director David Gordon Green

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