Platoon and The Doors are two of my all-time favorite movies (Natural Born Killers, JFK, and Born on the Fourth of July aren't too shabby either). So when it was announced that Oliver Stone would take on George W. Bush in his next film, I was pretty excited.
But W. has to be considered a bit of a disappointment. All the juiciest details are here (the ex-prez's obsessive love of baseball, his fraternity alcoholic hazings, his under-explained relationship with Jesus) and there are gripping inner office roundtable meetings with Condi, Rummy, Colin Powell, and the whole gang.
Josh Brolin is perfect and an undeniable force as W. Elizabeth Banks is good but too cute and not nearly as creepy as First Lady Laura. James Cromwell is excellent as the villainous Daddy H.W. Bush. And the rest of the actors do admirable jobs as other cabinet members (especially Richard Dreyfuss as the purely evil Dick Cheney). The problem is that they all feel like such caricatures rather than fully fleshed-out characters.
The series of vaguely connected scenes work well as 5-minute segments on their own. Taken together, it's just not that interesting at more than two hours. Or, then again, maybe Oliver Stone just didn't have much to work with. Maybe W. just isn't that interesting of a person.
*** out of ***** stars