Men Who Stare at Goats - lots of goats and a funny premise

I like the new film review format better than the old one, so I’m going to continue using it for now. However, I’m not going to include the “General Comments” section on everything. Sometimes I just don’t have that much to say and so there’s no point in rambling on.


The Men Who Stare at Goats (USA/UK, 2009)

Seen: Wednesday, 2nd June 2010 (cinema)
Runtime: 94′
Director: Grant Heslov
Cast: George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey, Stephen Lang
Production House: BBC Films, Smoke House, Westgate Film Services, Winchester Capital Partners


Rating: +0 (Liked It)

Themes: Conspiracy, Army, CIA, Paranormal Powers, Cold War, War on Terror, Iraq, Goats

Plot: A journalist discovers that the USA has attempted to train soldiers to fight using paranormal powers rather than conventional weapons.

Driven By:
- Action/Plot
It relies primarily on the absurd sequence of events and the situational humour.

Style: Standard, nothing particularly quirky.

Memorable Moments:
- The crazy stuff
There are plenty of really hilarious and crazy moments - from staring at goats to the CIA explaining that the US has to get into paranormal research because that’s what Russia thinks they’re doing.
- The Jedi references
Ewan was largely cast because of his association with the Star Wars trilogy. The paranormal soldiers are referred to as Jedi warriors and they really use Ewan’s presence to make loads of jokes on that level.
- The journalist feeling trapped
There are plenty of scenes where Ewan’s character feels very helpless and frustrated. They really stood out for me. Amongst these were the flashbacks of him getting dumped by his girlfriend and the scenes where Lyn and him get kidnapped by Iraqi insurgents. Not that the film puts much emphasis on his feelings in those scenes (mostly it’s the comedy that gets emphasized), but I really liked Ewan in those. He felt very genuine.

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