Wednesday 23 July 2008

Charlie Wilson's War

Ok, so it was Tuesday night, there wasn't anything on and this was on pay-per-view. Based on the true story of one congressman's efforts in fighting a covert war in Afghanistan it is fairly lighthearted fun which I will probably have entirely forgotten by the time I've finished writing this.

Tom Hanks plays the man from Texas on Capitol Hill, first seen in a hot-tub with strippers and a Playmate whilst cocaine does the rounds. Almost never without a glass of whiskey he isn't the obvious facilitator of funding for the mujahadeen in Afghanistan. The woman pushing his buttons is the wealthy and anti-communist socialite Julia Roberts. Together with the guidance of CIA man Philip Seymour Hoffman, Wilson brings together Israel, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt and America in an unlikely alliance against the Soviets. Hanks is on reliable form enjoying the character of a man who's hiring policy in the office is 'you can teach them to type but you can't teach them to grow tits'. Roberts does well in a small role but most of the laughs come from Hoffman whose belligerent spy deals in the uncomfortable truth from behind his ever present shades. The film deals with the politics pretty lightly and seems to take quite a long time to make a fairly simple point. It lacks the skill employed in another Hanks film 'Catch Me If You Can' which made a real entertainment from the life of fraudster Frank Abagnale. Not to worry though, it filled a couple of hours nicely enough.


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