The Men Who Stare At Goats was a fantastically funny dark comedy that was a very interesting and smart film. I was hoping the movie was going to be good, but I heard a few negative things about it. So even though I loved the trailer, the premise, and the fact that it was based on a true story, I still knew there was a chance I might not like it. That didn’t happen though. This movie grabbed me at the very beginning and didn’t let go until it was over. I had a great time watching it.
I laughed quite a bit during the movie, more than I expected to laugh. But it was really funny, I don’t see how anyone wouldn’t laugh. The dialogue was written very well, and was extremely witty. Director Grant Heslov did a great job with the structure of the film, and the story telling techniques used were very effective. As the film goes on we learn more about the history of the characters, and the Earth's First Battalion military unit through a series of flashbacks.
The movie follows Bob Wilton(Ewan McGregor), a reporter who wants to throw himself in the middle of the Iraq war as a journalist after his marriage falls apart. While in Iraq he runs into Lyn Cassady (George Clooney), a special forces agent who reveals the existence of secret, psychic military unit of psychic warrior Jedi’s whose goal was to fight the enemy with non-violent techniques, such as; peace, love and their minds. Bob joins Lyn on a secret mission. It is on this mission that Lyn learns everything he needs to know about Earth’s First Battalion. As the journey goes on, Bob also learns some very interesting things about the mission that Lyn is on.
I’m completely fascinated by the fact that this film is based on actual events and people. I love that about this story! Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I liked it so much. It’s so crazy, awesome, and hard to believe that it has to be true. Who doesn’t want to be a Jedi warrior monk!?
The best part about this movie is George Clooney’s performance. He was incredible! This is his best acting role in a film since Oh Brother Where Art Thou, which in my opinion is his best performance. It was fun watching George Clooney playing Lyn Cassady, he nailed the character. Clooney is at the top of his game when it comes to these comedic roles. It’s when he’s not playing himself that he is fun and refreshing.
As for Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey, and Robert Patrick… they were all great in their respective roles. Everything you like about them as actors is used in the roles they played in the film. There are all very much in their element. One other actor that I have to point out that was a highlight of the movie, even though he wasn’t in it much, was Stephen Lang who played Brigadier General Dean Hopgood (you might notice him as the General in James Cameron’s Avatar trailer). He was just so funny in this film and his character is extremely likable. He is the most excited person for Earth's First Battalion.
After seeing the film, I’m surprised that there are people that didn’t like The Men Who Stare at Goats. Personally, I don’t see what there isn’t to like about it. The movie is flat out entertaining and funny in all the right places. The characters are witty and compelling and the most entertaining part of the movie. I highly recommend you check this movie out when you have a chance!
If you have seen it, tell us what you thought!