Saturday, November 06, 2010
"Fair Game" is an uncharacteristic dud from director Doug Liman, best known for the "Bourne" films. This political drama is based on a true story of an exposed CIA agent during the Saddam years in Iraq. The film stars Naomi Watts as agent, Valerie Plame and Sean Penn as her husband, former Ambassador, Joseph Wilson.
The first hour is all background information on Valarie's operations around the world and our government zeroing in on supposed WMD's in Iraq. We get to the crux of the story when Joe writes a piece in The New York Times, calling the Bush Adminstration liars after he finds no WMD's on an overseas mission. The government then exposes Valerie in an attempt to deflect attention to their impending Iraq invasion. The story was a mild sensation for a moment and Mr. Liman tries in vain to create a "thriller" out of it. The closest the film comes to excitement is whether or not their marriage will survive the exposure and it's consequences.
Naomi Watts gives it her best as Valerie as does Sean Penn as Joe. I'm sure Mr. Penn was excited about a role where he gets to criticize the government multiple times. Their scenes together are strong but there is just not enough of a story here to keep an audience thoroughly engaged. Yes, you will be angry at what Mr. Bush and his "henchmen" do this family but the film brings nothing new to the story. In the end, the most interesting thing about "Fair Game" is Mr. Penn's haircut choice.