Director: John Stewart
Working time: 102 minutes
In the opening scene of The Daily Show’s irresistible writer, director and producer John Stewart – for more than 15 years the most popular presenter of political satirical comedies – we enter the vortex after one of the explosive American presidential debates of 2016. It is a direct and visceral atmosphere that Stuart uses as an introduction to the main character and the antagonist of the film.
Gary Zimmer (Steve Karell) is a Democratic campaign strategist and acts as a lure and business analyst for Hillary Clinton and DNA. In the opposite corner we find Zimer’s sworn enemy, the ice-cold blonde assassin Faith Brewster (Rose Byrne), who meets truth and logic with a steely denial and alternative facts caused by his position as RNA spokesperson, and the then candidate and now President Donald Trump. (I bet you haven’t heard that name in a long time.)
Stuart is absolutely ruthless in his portrayal of the political reality that surrounds the operating room. After the debate, Zimmer and Brewster stand in front of a drooling press and quickly go round in circles with lies, half-truths and complete delusions. Their rotation then makes it possible to cross the fourth wall and enter a dreamlike reality that appears directly in front of us like a spectator: I can’t wait to lie to you in the future. Fuck you, America. Despite the fact that this ignores impartial hackers, complicity of the media and political sublimity, it is a pity that Stuart’s vision of satire is soon relegated to an era of nostalgia.
After licking his wounds from Clinton’s sonic defeat on Trumps (little) hands, Zimmer gets to see a viral video with Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper), a retired naval colonel and farmer in the picturesque fictional town of Dearlaken, Wisconsin. Impressed by Hastings’ passion and sincerity, Zimmer decided he had to convince Hastings to run for Democratic Mayor of a small town. If Zimmer can control the story of the American Heart in the media, he could get them to vote for the Democrats and restore the semblance of hope for a broken political process. Arriving in Derlaken, Zimmer is soon faced with a tough battle against the current and very former mayor of the Republic (Brent Sexton), shameless cultural differences, rural sentimentality, Hastings’ ruthless daughter Diana (Mackenzie Davis), and possible interference and chaos from Brewster.
Using an outdated political compass as a thematic yardstick, many of Stuart’s writings draw on the far-reaching jokes of the urban eye in the countryside, focusing on the complicated claims of the East Coast Chambers and unable to determine whether or not Dearlaken’s friendly people urinate. So Zimmer Carrella presents itself as a strange mix between a clumsy Michael Scott from the office and a soft-talking agent from Washington. On the contrary, Brewster Byrne’s image as a manipulative, man-eating slut resonates well, and it’s clear she enjoys this role.
There are also short vignettes in the film that serve as top political advertising for an attack that at least lands because of their similarities and the reference to superior advertising that exists in our hellish mouth dimension. Then it’s a bit handy to push something already absurd into even stranger territory; a clear sign that Stuart’s script and direction are missing a much-needed self-awareness. Nor does it help that many of the nostalgic speeches in the film sound too close to the famous monologues in Stuart’s Daily Show.
To test the validity of the surveys against metadata and algorithmic analysis, against the dangers of information such as entertainment, and against some decent gags bundled in Super PACs and eccentric mega-millionaire donors. It would be great if we could all agree to say something unique or insightful about the cascade of political failure in which we all live. It is only with the help of the third revelation that Stuart tries to break through the sick normality of the film’s plot, only to make a lame statement about the grotesque nature of the campaign funding.
The Irresistible is one of those films in which one has the impression of coming directly from another dimension. Perhaps it is true that Al Gore won the presidential race in 2000 and successfully finished in 22nd place. The amendment to the U.S. Constitution was repealed so he could serve five consecutive terms, and Trump continues to teach, fire class D celebrities and enjoy his golden toilet. It is a film that desperately wants to become a cutting-edge political satire on our modern age, with calls to action, calls for better nature and conversions of the need to return to goodness, justice and good old American values. But in the eternal black hole of 2020, and in the manual 24-hour news cycle of the crisis that is the presidential roller coaster, the world is moving forward, and this shit is no longer enough. Today, we live in a world of QAnon, 5G, flat ears, bleach vaccines, millions of deaths from a global pandemic, and a planet that is rapidly collapsing and approaching disaster. Like the guys in the podcast said: Dirtbag on the left podcast of the Chapo Trap House: Unbelievable is the movie with the funniest and most caustic satire of 2007, which is beamed directly into the newly released part of your streaming device, apparently without realizing it.
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