Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Assassination of Richard Nixon

I watched The Assassination of Richard Nixon on Sunday. It's based on a real life incident from 1974 when an obscure fanatic became disillusioned with his own life and society in general and blamed it on president Nixon. He decided to hijack a domestic flight in Baltimore with a view to crashing it into the White House.
Sean Penn gives a solid performance as the fanatic, Sim Bicke who is separated from his wife and children and is desperate to get back together with them although she has moved on and when he sees her with another man the knife is twisted further driving him into a downward spiral. He has problems holding down jobs and when he gains a foothold as a salesman, he feels he is selling out by lying to his customers and taking flak from his boss for being weak. He is a quintessential loser. All this angst is compounded and directed towards a figure who he believes is propagating society to become liars and charlatans. Richard Nixon. In Bickes mind, Nixon must die for his crimes against humanity.
However, despite the well-rounded acting from the cast, it is let down by being simply boring at times and occasionally my mind wandered from the screen. The mediocrity is mirrored in Bickes downward spiral and what should have been a climatic finish when Bicke attempts to board the plane, instead becomes blase and you don't really care what happens in the end as long as it ends.
I would give this film 2.5 nutters out of 5.



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