Published on April 15th, 2010 | by Chris1
The Men Who Stare At Goats (2009)
The Men Who Stare At Goats is, for the most part, a pretty damn funny movie. For the most part.
Mediocre newspaper reporter Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) stumbles across a "loser" who claims to have been a part of an drug-fest army "psych" experiment. Later, while trying unsuccessfully to get into Iraq from Kuwait, he stumbles upon Lyn Cassady (George Clooney). He recognizes the name from the previous interview, and the fun begins. Cassady was another member of this unit, the "New Earth Army." He takes Wilton under his wing and together they delve into the history of the New Earth Army, and its high-as-a-kite leader, Bill Django (Jeff Bridges.)
Along the way they get into all sorts of trouble, eventually winding up in the hands of the army once again, and Cassady's nemesis, Hooper (Kevin Spacey)... Who is now in command of the modern day version of the unit....
First off, the humor in this picture isn't for everyone. If you're looking for Caddyshack or Larry the Cable Guy, look elsewhere. It's (for the most part) subtle, dry, and a lot of it might go flying over the head of your average joe. The entire "Jedi" bit is particularly funny in an ironic sort of way, given one of McGregor's past roles. The rest relies on a bit of timing, and a lot of deadpan.
The problem, though, is that at a certain point in the film, the humor comes to a screeching halt. It suddenly turns into a sad tale of faded glory and smashed dreams, as the terminally-ill Cassady and burned out Django try one last time to regain some sort of upper hand on Hooper in a finale that just doesn't cut it. Its too bad, really, because up until that point (trust me you'll know) it really isn't bad at all.
I'd like to give The Men Who Stare At Goats a much higher rating, but the entire ending just sunk it for me. It turned a fun, smart, picture into a bit of a letdown.
Watched on Blu Ray, and I really can't complain about any part of the presentation. The deleted scenes section in the extras really didn't help any, as most of it was just tiny bits that didn't amount to anything...
Here's the trailer, if you missed it the first time around:
Summary: The Men Who Stare At Goats is, for the most part, a pretty damn funny movie. For the most part.