The Men Who Stare At Goats

The Men Who Stare At Goats

(M) Sony DVD/BD

Based on the revelations by journalist Jon Ronson that the US military had a special operation in the ’80s and ’90s dedicated to psychological warfare this film follows rogue operative Lyn Cassady (George Clooney) and reporter Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) on a wacky road trip as Cassady pursues suspicions that the long decommissioned unit has been reactivated deep under cover.

Cassady was trained by New Earth Army founder and mentor Bill Django (Jeff Bridges) to be a “warrior monk” — or “jedi” — with unparalleled psychic powers to read enemies’ thoughts, pass through solid walls, or kill a goat just by staring at it.

To say this is by turns ridiculous and hilarious is a massive understatement. As they say, the truth hurts — in this case the stomach muscles.

This is such a surreal film it’s surprising it’s not the work of the Coen brothers, but it is actually directed by Grant Heslov, whose last film was the critically lauded Good Night and Good Luck.

Not surprisingly Clooney is both producer and star. Not since Oh Brother Where Art Thou and Burn After Reading has he been in such good comedic form — his trademark paranoid hysteria is in full wide-eyed flight here.

See this with tongue firmly planted in cheek. This is one of those films where every time you remember a scene it will make you smile.

Adrian Drayton

 

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