Sandra Bullock as an actress has been a real wildcat behind the wheel that is her career. She has done everything from romantic comedies to helping Sylvester Stallone survive in the future which is a job in itself. In 2009 her options started to change with her Oscar winning performance in “The Blind Side” and since then she has chosen her roles more closely. Being an Oscar winner you get to add creditability to a film in the hopes that you will bring the right kind of attention to your next staring role.
For Bullock’s next choice we see her as Jane, a political strategist who has gone into retirement after going a little cuckoo. Meanwhile in Bolivia an election is underway and someone has suggested that Jane would be just the person to help Castillo (Joaquim de Almeida) climb back up in the polls. So Ben (Anthony Mackie) and Nell (Ann Dowd) go and convince Jane to come join the fight, if just to beat her old rival Pat Candy (Billy Bob Thornton). Once in Bolivia, Jane seems more like an observer, as Castillo’s campaign tries to make its candidate something he is not. After an incident at a political rally, Jane sees her angle and decides that their campaign should be one of crisis. With the help of some good old fashioned political tricks, Jane tries to lead her candidate to victory and redemption for herself.
Based of the 2005 documentary of the same name by Rachel Boynton, that was about American political tactics and their consequences. Ten years later, Peter Straughan (Man Who Stares at Goats) writes a screenplay that keeps the point of the story intact, only with faces you know. The story is intriguing enough, as we watch our system have the same result in a different country. Thornton excels as well, being himself, in a role that was originally meant for George Clooney, who only serves as a Producer for the film. It’s hard to picture Clooney in the role as you watch Billy Bob be that guy you expect him to be. Meanwhile Bullock continues to make good choices and seems to mature in those choices, well if you pretend “The Heat” never happened that is. David Gordon Green (Joe) is the man behind the camera and continues his quest to keep us guessing what kind of director he is.
When is comes to “Our Brand Is Crisis”, the film hovers around mediocrity, with a few bright spots, only to dip from a land of the average with a ending that doesn’t quite fit. If the out of place ending wasn’t enough the film’s message never seems clear, and things never seems to come quite together. I don’t want to do anything as cliché as say there is a good film in there somewhere, because to be honest I don’t know if there is. What I can say is this is just another average movie with some talented people behind it, that while unlike a crisis, is not something to get to worked up about.