Wag the Dog Reviews
Wag The Dog
Levinson's smart and electrifying schemes on conjuring the elections is a work of pure art and not your usual sketchy comic drama. From the first frame the tale generates an exuberant energy on screen with pragmatic conversation that fuels on the environment offered to it that feels honest and real to the core. Similar to your usual mundane office day, this hectic week triumphs on its cutthroat sarcasm and hilarious ideologies. Unlike your usual structure, it is a one big act that feeds on high pitched dramatic antics that the gripping screenplay is brimmed of. The makers aren't hesitating on making big provocative decisions, their genuinely effective feeling towards justifying the characters is a testament to the writers' brilliance.
As much as hilarious the film is, the grasp of it towards practicality grows stronger and stronger that induces eye popping complex drama among the characters that are all at their vulnerable point of their life, either through success or failure. The content revolving around such political crises ought to have a diverse solution, and Levinson's world has managed to be diplomatic yet accurate to its requirements and answers. Hoffman at the realm of it is a delight to watch, he can pull off comic timing as perfect as his dramatic performance is.
In fact arguably, Hoffman is a much better humorisc than De Niro is, his body language speaks for his intentions that are sinister and quirky. De Niro in his underdog character that is often retreated by the makers as a trump card in crisis. And he flaunts majestically on screen especially the first time Macy confronts him for some questioning. Hecke supports convincingly and Harrelson lifts the film to a whole new level through his cynicism. Wag The Dog leaves its audience wagging the tale merrily.
All the actors delivered terrific performances, and there is superb chemistry between every actor and another, even who have smaller roles.
Needless to say, Robert De Niro is great. But Dustin Hoffman is who steals the show. Hoffman gave one of the best performances in his entire career. Actually, I will put his performance in Wag the Dog right after the performance that made him a household name in The Graduate. But let's put that off till I watch Rain Man. Woody Harrelson also has a small role in this movie, and although his character in not very interesting, especially because it was in the weakest part of the movie when it dragged a little bit, Harrelson's impeccable performance is not to blame.
Every single subtle trick in Wag the Dog makes you burst out laughing. And the movie takes advantage of all these tricks and small details until the credits roll. It never wastes any clever joke that made you laugh, and uses it again in a more clever way to make you laugh over it again and again.
Barry Levinson's direction is so smart, clever and slick. He made the movie fast-paced and that was a good decision, but I think he could have concentrated on the funniest moments in the movie to make them more pleasant, and to make them memorable not only funny. I have kinda the same issue with one of my all-time favorite movies, The Graduate. (I think Mike Nichols should have focused on the drama more than he did.)
The political commentary was a little on-the-nose at first but Barry Levinson's wit direction outweighed this little issue from the beginning. And the result is one of, if not the funniest political satire movie I've ever seen.
- One of my all-time favourite comedies. I have seen it more times than I can count and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it again. The movie was definitely ahead of its time. Hoffman gives an outstanding performance emulating hid friend and great Producer Robert Evans. this film is a must watch!
I've been a fan of Levinson's work since the 90's with his critically-acclaimed "Homicide: Life On The Street" and films like "Bugsy", "Sphere", "Good Morning Vietnam," etc. There's a great dynamic interplay between Hoffman and DeNiro.