If you’re expecting a political thriller, you will be fairly disappointed. “Our Brand Is Crisis” was marketed as a South American presidential drama but it’s more of a hyped-up and slightly overdone presidential candidacy. The marketing also makes zero allusions to the fact that this film is a satire of presidential campaigns, which was an interesting twist.
The plot follows an American campaign strategist who is convinced to go help a South American candidate be elected president. The plot itself is solid. There’s an obvious leader in the polls, some tangled history between two American campaign managers, an underdog, and some mudslinging. While predictable, it’s entertaining. If you don’t realize it’s a satire going in, it just seems like a miss in terms of political movies. It still feels like a little bit of a miss even with that realization.
All of the characters are pretty compelling, which is what makes the movie more interesting than its lackluster plot. Sandra Bullock stars as feisty and aggressive Jane, who has taken a hiatus from the political world. She steals the show as being jaded against politicians but a brilliant strategic thinker (and a hilarious dry sense of humor).
The other characters are members of the campaign staff exemplify whom they’re satirizing – from the dramatic speechwriter to the calculated mudslinger. The presidential candidate does his part well: the arrogant, wealthy politician who is totally out of touch with the people. And, of course, the competition between Jane and the opposing campaign manager Pat Candy (Billy Bob Thornton) is potent and strange. He is the classic political sleaze.
Overall, “Our Brand Is Crisis” is a mis-marketed film displaying the discrepancies of politics. While the movie does a great job of showing the wealth gap between those in power and those under leadership, it lacks in general creativity. The satire bit was a nice angle, but overall not executed well. Not a must-see, but a decent movie if you’re just looking to be entertained.
“Our Brand Is Crisis” gleans itself 5/10 stars for a solid attempt at political satire.
Rated R for language and adult material.