4/10 After watching/reviewing “The Loudest Voice”, the seven-episode limited series on Roger Ailes from Showtime, it was time to give “Bombshell” a look. Sadly, this movie not only fails to live up to “The Loudest Voice”, which had problems of its own, but doesn’t even equate to a decent film. There are some things that “Bombshell” does get right. Most of the casting is well done, with the main three actresses advertised on the poster, all being phenomenal in their roles. Margot Robbie is the strongest of the three leads, Charlize Theron completely disappears into Megyn Kelly and Nicole Kidman continues her hot streak of elevating everything she acts in. The production design and costume design expertly recreate the Fox News headquarters and other meaningful locations from over the years. The pacing of the movie works well, clocking in at under two hours and not dragging on for too long. Some of the score/soundtrack worked, including “Elevator Trio” which was the song heard in the movie’s teaser trailer. As for the many things that do not work, there is a lot to get to. First of all, Jay Roach’s direction is very bland and boring with what could have been exciting. Coming from directing comedy, he could have sprinkled in some comedic elements to lighten up how dark the subject matter is, similarly to what Adam McKay did in “The Big Short”, for example. Despite not going on for too long, the movie feels rushed as it flies through “Roger Ailes Greatest Hits”. Whereas “The Loudest Voice” spent an entire episode on 9/11 (one of the show’s best episodes), we get a two-minute flashback scene here that doesn’t add much to the movie. John Lithgow is not nearly as good of a Roger Ailes as Russell Crowe was, partly because he has less time to be developed, partly because the script he is working with is weaker and partly because we get more focus on him yelling than developing him as a character. Important roles that got development in the TV series like Beth Ailes, Rupert Murdoch and his sons, have absolutely nothing to do here. Richard Kind plays Rudy Giuliani and although he sounds like him, he looks nothing like him. “South Park” had a more realistic looking version of Giuliani. There are some fourth wall breaks that seem very out of place since they aren’t consistent and don’t fit in well. Instead of tackling something we can all agree on – sexual harassment has gone on in certain industries way too long, must be stopped and perpetrators held accountable – the movie instead turns partisan and smears anyone and everyone on the right who may or may not watch Fox News as homophobic, racist, sexist, etc. By smearing half the country and alienating potential viewers, the movie loses focus of what it should really be about. If you want a deeper, more developed dive into the story behind this movie, you can skip this and give “The Loudest Voice” a watch, recognizing that while not perfect, is still much better than this.
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