Charlie Wilson’s War (2007)

(In theaters, January 2008) The once-sparse subcategory of geopolitical sarcastic comedy is certainly picking up steam: After Lord Of War and The Hunting Party, here’s Charlie Wilson’s War, a “comedy” with more political savvy than most so-called “political thrillers” (not to mention documentaries) out there. Little surprise, since Aaron Sorkin is writing it: his mastery of Soviet weaponry and the Washington political process shows through. Better yet is the acting talent, with Tom Hanks having fun as a philandering Texas congressman and Julia Roberts hamming it up as a larger-than-life Houston socialite. And yet it’s Philip Seymour Hoffman who walks away with the best lines as a riot-nrrrd CIA operative who finally gets a chance to do something. The script deftly takes us around the world, making a comedy out of a foreign policy move that blows back hard. And that, ultimately ends up being the uncomfortable elephant in the room: How can you make a snarky comedy about arming people who would later come back and become one of the USA’s many number-one enemies? Well, you don’t, and you tag the conclusion in an epilogue. Which may be the truest, unkindest joke of all.

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