Hey, you hear about that Edward Snowden guy? He leaked a lot of USA secrets, namely what they were doing to the American people. Spying on everyone as part of the NSA.
Yeah! Big crazy stuff. And this patriot is now still living overseas in Russia, granted a temporary asylum. He is willing to come back to the USA if he would get a fair trial, but he knows he won’t and thus, a giant stalemate.
And if you watch the documentary Citizenfour, you will get the inside scoop of how he leaked the data to a few press markets and their plan for getting him out to safety. It is thrilling and great, which is why it was nominated for so many awards. Hell, it won best Documentary.
So this Snowden movie, off of its success, is meant to tell his story before the leak and a little bit after it. A regular biopic. But also, Oliver Stone directing, so you know a lot of shenanigans.
Computer shenanigans are some of my least favorite shenanigans.
Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a smart dude, worked for the USA, stole from the USA, and is about to be on the run. The USA didn’t know he stole from them until the leaks began to happen, but he was a paranoid sun of a gun who knew how to keep his tracks hidden and knew how to keep his profile low.
He tried to join the military in his youth, he really did. But he broke something during a drill and got booted out, with knowledge that his foot was frail and had a big potential for more ouchies. So he instead found himself getting a job with the intelligence agencies. Sure, he doesn’t even have a college degree, but he was self taught and really fucking good at computers.
So Corbin O’Brian (Rhys Ifans) gave him a shot. They knew the next wars would be fought with computers, not nukes, and they had to make sure the USA had the biggest and best computers for when it all started.
But what drove Snowden to eventually stealing and spreading out the secrets? Did he get a moral code? Did he get beat up at school? Or was it his very liberal girlfriend (Shailene Woodley)?
Also starring Nicolas Cage, Scott Eastwood, Tom WIlkinson, Timothy Olyphant, Melissa Leo, and Zachary Quinto.
Her color choices make her look like a cartoon compared to Snowden.
Snowden is the most important thing to leave Elizabeth City, NC since the Wright Brothers left it to go to Kitty Hawk and learned to fly. And in a way, Snowden sort of taught us all to fly, didn’t he?
The problem with a biopic after a really good documentary is that it has to be really fucking good or else it won’t stand up to its predecessor. If they really want a biopic, they gotta come out before the documentary if they want a time in the sun. Just ask the movie Nina.
And in this case, this movie goes over so much the documentary does not, but still, it feels shallow in comparison. Honestly, who cares about them before? Unless Snowden also is the reason the spying happens, his life and story before the point are insignificant. The only part that’s that matter is how he got access and why he decided to tell the world.
So don’t see Snowden. Watch Citizenfour, get active in politics, do something. Don’t just continue to watch Oliver Stone movies and move on with your life.
1 out of 4.