State of Play
The Americans have a bad reputation when it comes to remaking foreign movies, or remaking anything for that matter, so it was with some trepidation that I approached State of Play, the two hour American version of a 5 hour British mini-series. Not helping the American cause was the casting of Ben Affleck – Ben is the film going equivalent of a red cape to a bull – he may have been able to command an audience at one stage of his career, but now he’s more of a warning sign that any movie he’s in is going to be so bad as to make you angry you wasted your money.
Fortunately for fans of the original British series (of which I am one) Ben seems to have found a role that suits him; that of a smarmy, easy to detest, Congressman. Fortunately also is the good news that the Americans have done a really good job of condensing 5 hours into an adrenaline laced two hours.
State of Play is two hours of solid politically charged thriller; with enough mystery, intrigue and red herrings to keep you guessing till the very end. Well, to keep anyone who hasn’t seen the original guessing. The film (from memory) stays faithful to the British series, whilst at the same time bringing the plot up to date and changing it’s location.
Russell Crowe and Helen Mirren are absolutely brilliant in their roles, and lock horns wonderfully from time to time, as Crowe’s reporter character chases after the truth, no matter the cost, whilst Helen plays his boss who has to prove to the papers new owners that they are still viable in our world of first leak sensationalistic journalism.
It’s easy to say that State of Play will be one of the best political thrillers you’ll see this year.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read
Rating: [M] Contains violence and offensive language
Released on: September 24th, 2009
Stars: Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Harry J. Lennix
Length (Minutes): 122
Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1
Supported Audio: Dolby Digital Surround 5.1
Director: MacDonald, Kevin
Studio: Universal Pictures