Also checked out Snowden, the new film about Edward Snowden starring Joseph Gordon Levitt and Shalieen Woodley. It’s a rather long retelling of the adult career and life of Ed Snowden in the CIA, NSA, and other intelligence agencies leading up to the point where he stole all that data about the government spying on everyone and gave it to the media. Whether you think Snowden is a hero or a villain, I assure you that this movie, as directed by Oliver Stone, is confident that he’s a hero. Which comes as no surprise since there’s never been a government program that Oliver Stone hasn’t railed against.
So take that for what it’s worth when watching this movie. If you despise Snowden, it’s possibly you’ll just hate this movie. But it does, at least, attempt to make an argument that maybe – just maybe – the intelligence operations were over-reaching.
Me? Clearly Snowden is a vile villain with a curled mustache that he twirls while laughing. I also want to say “Hi” to the guy at the NSA reading this. <wave>.
Anyhow, this is a well made movie that never actually bored me which is a surprise, in retrospect, since not a hell of a lot happened over its 2 hr 20 min runtime. Ed Snowden sees the government doing shady things, collecting too much private info… then he sees it again and again and again and then finally decides to do something about it. None of this is precisely boring, but it’s kind of low energy and not very thrilling. Maybe that’s the point – Snowden was just some ordinary (super smart) dude doing his job which happened to involve a lot of top secret info and surveillance. He’s not a mustache-twirling villain… or so Oliver Stone would have us believe.
I can’t say how truthful this movie is but this movie will surely tell you its truthful. It wears its mild annoyance – but not its righteous anger – on its sleeve. I suspect Oliver Stone is full of righteous anger but he doesn’t really bring it to this movie. Yes, Snowden is a hero, yes the government is overreaching, but hey, lets have some scenes with Snowdwn and his girlfriend and then give a mild lecture about freedom. Maybe it’s an attempt to not piss off half the country by being his old firebrand self. I dunno.
So, yeah, they could have cut some running time out of the movie or re-arrange the retelling to be more weighted toward stealing the data or something. But it’s not like it’s a bad movie… it’s pretty good. <shrug>.
Score: 77

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