“Swing Vote” Propaganda VOTE!


Genres: Comedy
Release Date: August 1st, 2008 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language.
Distributors: Walt Disney Pictures
Directed by: Joshua Michael Stern

JJ Rating: B

Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner) is apathetic and his daughter Molly (Madeline Carroll) is the exact opposite of apathetic. She cares for the country and wants her father to vote. He doesn’t. They argue. She wins. Swing Vote.

I enjoyed the over all theme of this movie. The actual delivery was half hearted and what could have been awesome fell short of that. There was a teasing of heart towards the end and it sort of delivered on its promise but didn’t give as much as it could have.

Kevin Costner, Dennis Hopper, Nathan Lane, Kelsey Grammer, Stanley Tucci, Geroge Lopez were all good and fun. Kevin Costner was fun and did the apathetic American well. Madeline Carroll and Costner played well together. The parent and child roles were reversed in a humorous way, even though seriously it’s a problem that isn’t necessarily funny.

There was humor in this film with the way the ads that the political parties had tailored to Bud and what he had said to the reporters. The best ad was the abortion one and it was so out there. It was creatively bizarre in a good satirical way. One critic, that I skimmed, stated that it was a weakly done satire and I have to agree. But Swing Vote had strong humor moments that sort of pulled the weaker parts out of the mire and allowed me to enjoy it over all.

The heartfelt moments were weak, but the meaning the storyline was trying to convey was right there and understood. It could be stated as propaganda and rightfully so because it’s trying to convey how important it is to vote. Whether or not you agree with that, one cannot disagree with the importance of being passionate about something and creating some sort of passion in someone else, even if it’s to argue against you; for passion is far better than apathy.

There are always people in every human that are worth knowing and even if the person wants to be a political person. The idea of political people is that they will sell their soul to the devil to get the power that they so seek, but even they want to do good even if the good is paved road towards said hell. But just like Obama and McCain there was a lot of true to life political playing with the switching on core issues just to get not a block of votes but a single solitary vote.

The perspectives that Swing Vote gave varied and were very telling and entertaining. However, the strength behind each perspective was not as powerful and moving as it could be. That sort of like waiting for something good to happen and tease, tease, tease happens instead of finally giving.

Swing Vote was a good idea and would have been a great idea if it delivered what it promised in the trailer which was a well thought out good feeling movie about politics. Even though it gave a little to what it promised it entertained me. Will it entertain you? That’s up in the air. If you are entertained by children actors who actually can act then you’ll be entertained mildly. If you don’t expect a high amount of thought provoking lines and emotion then you’ll survive. If propaganda on being a good voter gets on your nerves and you are apathetic then just maybe it might motivate you or it could very well make you think you were so right to not bother, ever.

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