Swing Vote (2008)


“All the world’s great civilizations have followed the same path. From bondage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy back to bondage. If we are to be the exception to history, then we must break the cycle, for those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – Molly Johnson

Number of Times Seen – 2 (13 Mar 2009 and 2 Jun 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A washed up single father living in New Mexico in incorrectly perceived to be the tie breaking vote in the US Presidential election.

My Take on it – This is a film that has a great premise which is ruined by the fact that they muddle through it all the entire way.

Kevin Costner is a great actor and director, but he feels so much out of his depth in this film and the character seems too farcical and superficial to be realistic which hurts things a lot.

Kelsey Grammer and Dennis Hopper are both superb as the President and Challenger but they aren’t helped by the very mediocre script that tries too hard to push certain agenda instead of looking for a way to make this all much more poignant especially in the political landscape that has been circulating over the past two decades.

The way that they present the father daughter relationship is also quite weak and that doesn’t help since this is suppose to be part of the moral backbone of this story.

Given the political atmosphere of the modern word where things are constantly evolving, t is quite easy to understand the message of this film but unfortunately, it still doesn’t manage to find a way to justify everything said and done here especially when the ultimate payoff in the end feels too much like a way to cheat.

Bottom Line – Great premise that is muddled through too much along the way.  Costner is a bit out of his depth with this superficial character and that hurts things a bit in this film. Grammer and Hopper are both superb as the two candidates yet, they are not helped at all by the mediocre script that seems to try too hard to push certain agenda instead of making this film even more poignant to watch.  The father-daughter relationship depicted here isn’t a very strong one and that also hurts things a bit along the way. Living in an ever evolving political world, its easy to understand the point of this film, yet, it doesn’t manage to justify itself enough especially since the payoff feels like a cheat.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – According to co-screenwriter Jason Richman, the picture was inspired by the close result of the 2000 U.S. American Presidential election between Democrat Vice President Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush where the result came down to the southern American U.S. state of Florida and only around 500 votes. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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One thought on “Swing Vote (2008)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 2008 | MovieRob

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