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Funny Military Satire
on March 28, 2010
Men Who Stare at Goats begins with the phrase 'more of this is true than you would believe' I cannot verify that clam, but I do suspect that there lies some distant reality in this cleverly funny film.
Ewan McGregor is Daily Telegram reporter Bob Wilton, whose life suddenly begins to collapses when his wife leaves him for his editor. In his own words he does what most men do when a women break there heart, he goes to war.
A wannabe war corresponded; Bob hopes that in hunting for adventure he can prove to his lost love that he is not weak. In Iraq Bob meets Retired Special Forces operator, Lyn Cassady; played as the ever charming and crafty George Clooney. Cassady refers to himself as a Jedi warrior, a military trained super soldier, fighting with his mind.
As they journey into the desert together, Lyn reveals the story of his training by the New Earth Army; at the height of the cold war the pentagon catches wind of a Soviet psychic soldier program, unwilling to accept a psychological warfare gap, they begin their own program.
Newly Oscar winning Jeff Bridges brilliantly stars as Bill Django commander of the New Earth Army. Bill embraces the hippy movement in his personal quest for a peaceful warrior. He uses mental projection, positive thought, eastern meditation techniques, and yes even the occasional psychotropic drug to create a new form of warrior, a super soldier with the power of mind over matter.
The new age soldier movement attempts, with varying degrees of success, to train men to walk through walls, overcome there enemies with mental projections, and even kill goats with a stare.
An expectantly well rounded and talented cast saturates the film; Kevin spacy plays Larry Hooper the films primary antagonist; a vindictive psychic trainee. Stephen Lang, Robert Patrick, and Stephen Root all appear as minor but amusing roles. Megregor and Clooney have great chemistry on their strange desert adventure; there humor is smart, bordering on absurdist.
I was not expecting much from Men who stare at goats, I am happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised. It's a smartly written little comedy. The acting is great, filled to the brim with talent; the humor is very amusing with more than a few laugh out load moments. It doesn't hit on all of its notes, but does maintain a good comedic vibe, culminating in a hilarious final act.
McGregor's narration is very well done, his character struggles to believe in the psychic mumbo-jumbo of Cassady's account, but as he learns, what his life needs is something to truly believe in, the power of belief can make anything possible.
I enjoyed Men Who Stare at Goats. The story is well told, and well shot, acting is very good all round. The comedy is crafty and a bit absurdist, this is a fun movie. I liked its message about trusting in one's destiny, in finding something worth believing in. Just open your mind and trust, the power of positive thought will make you a believer.