Tuesday, July 1, 2003

Review – The Day Reagan Was Shot

To this day the memory of the time when this nincompoop was in control of our country is still enough to send shivers up my spine. And I don’t count myself vastly comforted by this made-for-cable movie’s revelation that most of the people around Reagan were just as stupid as he was, at least when it came to dealing with the crises that arose after the President was shot by a Jodie-Foster-loving nutbar. This movie focuses on the problems in leadership that arose while Reagan underwent surgery, particularly Alexander Haig’s now-legendary “power grab.” The plot’s reliance on Haig as a character makes Richard Dreyfuss an especially odd choice for the role. He’s clearly cast against type, and if the producers were hoping that this would be one of those quirky-yet-effective choices then they hoped in vain. Oh, and while we’re talking about the producers, I note that Oliver Stone was among their ranks. The box copy banked on his presence to market this as a movie along the lines of JFK, but though there were several elements of Hinkley’s attempt on Reagan that might have suggested at least some sort of conspiracy, none of them appear here. Instead this is a bush league tragedy of errors, an unflattering portrait of an unpleasant moment in an unfortunate time in our nation’s history. Mildly amusing