Hot Take: Our Brand Is Crisis is a fairly mediocre political comedy… Wag the Dog without the bite. Sandra Bullock is fun to watch though and that makes it slightly better than forgettable.
At some point in Our Brand Is Crisis I stopped caring about the plot and decided to enjoy Sandra Bullock’s performance as “Calamity” Jane Bodine, an American political advisor brought out of “retirement” to help a long shot candidate in Bolivia salvage their campaign. I’d bore you with more details about the actual plot but you’ve seen this “paint by numbers” storytelling before. The draw is Bullock and some decent supporting work by Billy Bob Thornton (as Bodine’s nemesis Candy) and Anthony Mackie and Ann Dowd.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- Bullock’s Performance
Okay, I’ve mentioned it three times now. You might get the idea that I enjoyed watching her in this movie. You’d be right.
- When It Tried to Be Funny…
Our Brand Is Crisis suffered from an identity crisis. There was an effort to make it a commentary on the political system but also a comedy. There’s fine lines between satire, parody and comedy and unfortunately, Crisis checks all three boxes which waters down the overall humor. However, it had an adequate number of laughs.
- Zoe Kazan’s Character
If Our Brand Is Crisis was a huge success, you could see a spin-off featuring Zoe Kazan’s LeBlanc, a young woman who digs up dirt on political opponents. All signs point to a bust so it’s unlikely we’ll ever hear from LeBlanc again.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- Our Crisis Is Identity
Mentioned earlier, the film suffers from an identity crisis. It struggles to pick a lane and falls flat because of it.
- What’s With Scoot McNairy’s Character?
The advertising guru of the political advisory team has trouble reading? I don’t get it.
- Substance Abuse Is Funny?
In the opening, it is revealed that Bullock’s character spent some time in Betty Ford Center. Of course, once she’s back into her old routine, the drinking starts again… well, for one scene. It’s used for a comedic montage and “Calamity” Jane shakes it off like Taylor Swift tells us to but even for a movie that’s a little far fetched.