The Last King of Scotland
The other night I decided I was going to head out to see either Dreamgirls or Last King of Scotland. It was a bit of a toss up but somehow I got the feeling that Dreamgirls would want to make me run screaming from the theater and keep running till I got back to my apartment in the hopes that burning that much energy that fast would drain away the horrible memory of cheesed out terribleness crawling all over my eyeballs and in my ears. Just a hunch.
So Last King of Scotland seemed like the better way to go. Plus, I've been a fan of Forest Jefferson since Fast Times at Ridgemont High when he played that droopy eyed football player who pounded on the hood of his wrecked car as Spicoli stood by nervous and amazed by his own genius level plan after realizing his dad's TV repairman tools couldn't repair the car after he crashed into a wall of cinderblocks Bo Derek's tits I like sex!
I didn't know much about Idi Amin going in. I just remember his name being this vague bad guy from back in the day from some country that usually had an X next to when I got my geography test back in 6th grade. Idi Amin. With a name like that was anyone really surprised he turned out to be a bad guy? "Idi Amin" doesn't exactly sound like a savior. But anyway, whatevers. First off, congrats to Forest for his future Oscar win! It's a lock. And the good news is he deserved it. From the second this guy walked on screen he pwned this role. He was Forest for maybe 5-10 seconds and then he was all the way Idi all the Idi time. Something about his physical bigness and the way his eyeballs went from side to side washed away any hint of Forest in a snap...
For the first hour of this flick I was super on board with it. I loved looking at the Ugandan culture. Forest was funny and charming and scary as Idi. He could have sold me on anything. And the other lead character (some Scottish guy) didn't annoy me much-- and I was convinced I was never going to be able to tolerate him. So for an hour solid I sat there totally smiling at how much I was digging this flick. Scene after scene was rock solid. Forest powered through the landscape and gathered up any frayed movie threads as he stomped along. He was friggin great...
But then after the first hour they sort of put Forest away for a while. It became all about the Scottish dude who was busy running around being a scottish cock. Acting on dumb impulses that seemed hard to believe. I whatevered him. Then all of a sudden, Idi's reign was collapsing at a distance. I lost any emotional attachment to anything that was going on. Then a hijacking of plane appeared. It felt like someone pushed the button on the movie blender without putting on the lid-- and everything sort of went everywhere. In the end, I realized the big problem with this movie. I felt it was building up to a great personal and political explosion for a dictator--- instead it was just a personal one. And that person wasn't even Idi. It was some Scottish dickhead doctor with good hair...
Three Good Things About this Movie
- Ain't no guy actor nailed a role like Forest done did here in a long time.
- It made me want to travel.
- Gillian Anderson showed up and finally snapped herself off from Skully.
Three Bad Things About this Movie
- It squandered itself for no good reason.
- Idi was too two-sided. I wanted eleven.
- I walked out with an appreciation for Forest- but not an appreciation for knowing more about anything else in particular.
All in all, this is a coolio flick to see. It's worth it for any Oscar fan because you'll appreciate Forest's acceptance speech come Oscar time. But if I could have done things my way with this flick, I would have just set the spotlight white hot on Idi and not taken it off him for a second. Just focus on the man. His sweat. His big why and how and when. I wanted the chills that go along with joining someone on an evil descent like that! Considering the actorial mega-power--- shifting to something else was just simply criminal...