Death of a President **1/2
"Death of a President" is something that is more fun to talk about before it comes out then it is to actually sit through it when it eventually does. It joins such films as "The Passion of The Christ," and "The Da Vinci Code," of gaining more press prior to its release than when it does. And sadly, it does not live up to any of the hype or the controversy that I was expecting. Sure, it is something interesting, and unusual, but sadly it is throwaway, and has not left much of an impression with me a few weeks later. And of course it is gaining controversy. Not only is it a film made in Britain, but it is about the fictional assassination of President George W Bush. The eerie part is that he will be killed on October 19th 2007.
"Death of a President" pretends to be made in 2008, and films what happened after the death of the President, and the rise to power for Dick Cheney. On October 19th 2007, Bush attended a conference in Chicago to discuss the American economy. Security is prepared for anything, and everything is done by the books. Bush is in the center of hoards of angry protestors, who shout names and picket signs at the President. The speech goes well, and it seems to be a hit, but on the way out of the conference, an unknown gunman attacks the President and shoots him. Three days later, he is in the hospital and he is dead. And now, it becomes a lengthy process to find out who did it, and why.
Before seeing it, you might initially believe that the film makers want Bush dead. As if after he dies, the state of the world might go back to some kind of normal again. But the entire film is a "What If," and a bad one at that. When it was over, I couldn’t help but feel that my time was wasted. It was too long, and dull. Maybe its simply the mockumentary genre, which is one that I could just never get into. In any case, "Death of a President" is a failure, and not something that deserves the amount of media attention that it had. It is an interesting technique, and an unusual method of telling a story. And for that, I will give it some credit. But even the assassination scene, the one that you wait for from the beginning, is a few seconds worth of shaky camera work and an image of Bush looking surprised. Not quite the emotional powerhouse I was expecting, and I just could not find myself caring. I did not want to know who killed Bush, or why, I just wanted to go home.