January 16, 2015

Kill the Messenger (2014)

Kill the Messenger (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Michael Cuesta
Country: USA

Movie Review: NYC filmmaker Michael Cuesta picks a real story to serve as basis for his fifth feature film, putting a break on TV incursions such as the series “Homeland”, or minor films, case of last year’s “Second Sight”. “Kill the Messenger” was written for the screen by Peter Landesman (“Parkland”), inspired on journalist Gary Webb’s reports that unveiled a reproachable link between CIA and the Nicaraguan rebel groups known as Contra. The books behind the film are ‘Dark Alliance’ from Webb himself, and Nick Schou’s ‘Kill the Messenger’, which gave the title to the film. The scandal emerged in the 90’s, after the San Jose Mercury News has published Webb’s polemic article denouncing that guns were being sent to Nicaragua in exchange for cocaine in the 80’s, an illegal operation led by CIA’s high officials. Jeremy Brenner delivers a fair performance as the determined reporter who dug in a dark conspiracy that would ruin his journalistic career forever. The film builds its foundations in two uneven fronts that inevitably interweave: Webb’s professional life is rich, filled with dangerous moves and an imminent restlessness, but lamentably, this major aspect of the story is dulled by his family life – the delicate moments he was living in his marriage, and the too much attention dispensed to the relationship with his older son. I wish Cuesta had taken better advantage of the story’s potentiality to make a less stereotyped thriller, and consequently avoid the tiresome Hollywoodian style felt. Even achieving an acceptable pace, I can’t deny I was disappointed with “Kill the Messenger”, which had everything to fly high but preferred to land in conventional territories.

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