Bullock and Thornton have great frenemy chemistry as competing political stragegists in Bolivia, and the setting and story are captivating. But the plot feels random, with some hits and some near misses when it comes to connecting with the audience. Then there’s the “Blond White American Chick Saves Bolivia” ending, complete with slow-mo walking and Bullock’s temp-blond mane blowing beautifully in the breeze.
Not to say that Crisis doesn’t have anything to say. There are some serious topics here, including how far someone should go to win, and the consequences of one’s actions. Add in a no-foolin’ look at the political instability of Bolivia, and the idea that perhaps US spin-doctors shouldn’t try to stir things up just for a buck. But Crisis skims over these ideas, as if showing an unhappy, rioting mob is enough to get the feel of what’s really going on down there.
Crisis is fun to watch, with believable dialogue and a cast that’s eager to dig into their roles. Bullock does some great work here, hopping from comedic to dramatic with ease. Thornton’s rival politico is practially a shaved-head Snidley Whiplash, complete with inappropriate sexual comments and lots of disingenuous posturing. Then there’s Zoe Kazan, who does a remarkable job as the enigmatic LeBlanc, a political dirt-digger that’s so talented she’s almost an Inhuman. And speaking of the MCU, let’s not forget Marvel’s Falcon, Anthony Mackie, as Bullock’s 2nd in command/confessor/guy who got her to come to Bolivia in the first place. We like him.
But there’s not enough depth in this film, which leaves this film in the ranks of kinda-true-story entertainment lite rather than hard-hitting satire. Check out the documentary if you want to really dig in. Hit this film if you’d like to see Bullock kick ass and take names. Grade: C