There was a time when Oliver Stone's name really meant something in Hollywood. In the days of Platoon, Wall Street, Born on the 4th of July, and JFK, Stone had no peer in terms of making provocative, socially relevant movies. His script for Scarface has to be one of the most underrated screenplays ever penned. His biopics, The Doors and Nixon, were both first rate. Over time though, the wheels came off. The Stone penchant for political controversy started to fall flat in a Hollywood culture increasingly catering to a teenage mindset. So when I heard word about W. I thought for a second that maybe the old school O. Stone had been--like disgraced former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said as he was being ousted--"setup for a comeback." Unfortunately this is not the case.
W. is like a long Saturday Night Live skit. Josh Brolin is hilarious as the idiot savant, George W. Bush. Thandie Newton is equally funny as she mocks the ever uptight Condi. But beyond that, if you've watched the news or read the internet at any point over the last 8 years, much of the film will seem redundant.
I knew that something was up when I saw that the film had a PG-13 rating, in spite of the fact that what Forty Three has done to this nation is nothing short of pornographic and in turn more deserving of the most explicit XXX rating.
What we need is historical distance. The wounds that Four-Trey and his homies have inflicted on America are still too fresh to fully comprehend. History will, no doubt, be a harsh judge.
The same thing that will make you laugh will make you cry. To this end, I found myself laughing profusely throughout W., though the events of the Bush presidency are most certainly not funny.