There are often two sides to every story and for many larger ones, more than two sides. When it comes to telling the truth it often becomes muddied by all the white and outright lies that are told. Sometimes you need an objective investigator to weed through the lies and find the truth. No person has done that better than the good old newsman at every city newspaper. Names like Woodward and Bernstein, who broke Watergate story, and brought down the most powerful man in the free world with their words on paper.
Delivering that truth can be a difficult task, because there are people who do not want it out there. “Kill the Messenger” is a story about a reporter who risked everything to bring certain truths to light. Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner) works for the San Jose Mercury News, a small paper that isn’t even a blip on the map when it comes to news. That changes when Webb is given a lead on a case that suggests that the U.S Government sold drugs to finance a war. Webb can’t help but to investigate and look into the chance of this being factual. After his initial inquiry, Webb realizes that the rock he just turned over only leads to more rocks and secretes that are buried so deep that no one was ever suppose to find them. Webb decides that the pursuit of the truth outweighs any consequences and follows through with the investigation no matter what obstacles are put in his way.
What is discovering the truth worth to you? It seems more people are more comfortable hearing what they want to hear or what is easiest to hear than what they should hear. With so many corporations owing the news now, you have to wonder if what we hear is the truth or what sentimentally is best for the bottom line. Forty years ago Woodward and Bernstein were applauded for what they uncovered, while twenty years later Webb was ostracized for doing the same thing. “Kill the Messenger” is a great story about the search for the truth and what you have to go through to deliver it. Renner shows that too often he is put in the wrong role, and shines in a role that seems perfect for him. Being surrounded by a great cast that incudes Andy Garcia, Michael Shannon, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Rosemarie DeWitt only helps to support and add to the performance from Renner. The story comes from Webb’s book “Dark Alliance” and Nick Schou’s “Kill the Messenger”, with the screenplay being written by Peter Landesman (Parkland), and while the story has a few dips in its delivery, it has more strong points than weak ones. Director Michael Cuesta does what a good director should do with a movie like this and gets out of the way and let the actors and the story carry the movie. This is a entertaining and informative movie , but after you see it and if you don’t enjoy it, just remember don’t kill me, I am just the, well… you know.