Review of The Ides of March
It takes an arrogant person to name a movie after one of the most famous Shakespeare plays ever. And George Clooney is just the guy to do it.
The title would lead you to believe this was about a betrayal of a friend starring George Clooney as Julius Caesar and Ryan Gosling as Bruté. Only I don’t recall Caesar sleeping with his interns, and if he did, it was probably not as frowned upon in that time period and he probably bragged about it.
Regardless of ill-advised Shakespearian comparisons, this movie went nowhere for an hour. I’m all for character development, really I am. But it’s usually a bad sign once I start to wonder why a movie exists in the first place. I didn’t know if it was supposed to be a political commentary I wasn’t getting or if it was supposed to be wowing us with the peek behind the scenes of a political campaign, but I was having trouble justifying staying up passed 11pm on a Friday to continue watching this. I actually thought maybe it was based on a true story because it was so boring.
Then finally something happened. The girl is pregnant. It’s the governor’s. The assistant campaign guy she’s now sleeping with pays for her abortion. He gets blackmailed about another thing. Something about a delegate happened. He blackmails the governor he works for (so there IS backstabbing!). But for the right reasons. And in the end, it turns out there is no innocence in politics. Close-up of Ryan Gosling. Roll credits. Lesson learned. George Clooney pats himself on the back for just being George Clooney.
The pacing was awkward, I didn’t know what or who I was supposed to be paying attention to, the lesson was cliché and the payoff was not worth the investment. This could have been another Bulworth with a wayward politician with progressive ideals that doesn’t play the political game. There were some good speeches written into the film. But it decided to go the other way and give into blackmail and bribery. And for some reason, it overdramatized these scenes like it was brilliant and the audience wouldn’t see it coming. My wife summed it up once the final credits started when she said “That’s it?” 2 bugs (out of 10)