Movie Review: Kill the Messenger


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Killing the MessengerYou would think that maybe the amount of government corruption scandals would end, or at least waver a bit, as time goes on. Not for the wonderful U.S. Government! It seems, at least with this story, that there is no extreme they won’t go to keep their dirty little secrets hidden from public view. And when I say little secrets I’m really talking about drug trafficking and murder, among other offenses. It is their job to stop anyone from committing illegal activity, but who stops them? No one; and how dare you accuse them of being corrupt! That’s like calling rain wet. Well, in 1996 one man dared to stand up to the most immoral people imaginable. It’s interesting that throughout his investigation he meets drug dealers and drug lords and the most evil people he encounters are from the federal government. There is no low they won’t stoop to, there is no option they won’t consider if it means the end to whatever is causing them to lose sleep. God forbid they lose sleep, only the ones they screw over on a daily basis should lose sleep. (F*ckers)

Killing the Messenger4Being based for the most part on actual events it’s sad to think that no one involved in this heinous act of massive drug trafficking had to face real consequences. The man looking into them, Gary Webb, just decided to commit suicide seven years to the day he first released an article that began a long process of exposing these criminals for what they really are. Convenient isn’t it? Oh, and he shot himself twice in the head. Apparently it’s physically possible to shoot one’s self twice in the head but the odds of it are extremely rare, like five out of nearly two hundred gun related suicides; that’s about 3.5%. He set out to expose the corruption in the government and what he found was enough for the CIA to in turn investigate him and to eventually discredit him so anything he said would be seen as hysteric antics from a nut job.

Killing the Messenger3He found proof and what this film aims for is simplicity and transparency. I’m sure there are exaggerations, but a lot of the evidence can be found online to this day; even theories about the unusual circumstances of his death. These government officials and agencies were sworn to protect this country and instead they exploit it for their own gains. Then when someone like Gary Webb is courageous enough to stand up to them, they destroy him. Kind of makes me sick that these people can so easily lie and manipulate and even murder simply because they have power, and the intoxication of that power is too great to give up even a sliver of. With actions like the ones they committed in the eighties, the drug trafficking is proof that this country is run but the world’s most powerful gang. They are immoral scum and anyone who questions their motives (e.g. Edward Snowden) is labeled an enemy of the state. Their official motto might as well say, “Nothing to see here, move along.” Sorry if this came off as a rant but when you watch Kill the Messenger it elicits the emotions that come up when one is betrayed by their government. These days much of what they do causes similar feelings.

The real Gary Webb
The real Gary Webb

Gary Webb was a respected and talented journalist for the San Jose Mercury News, and until one major story fell into his lap he was smalltime. When he is given evidence suggesting government involvement in major drug trafficking which led to mass amounts of cocaine hitting the Los Angeles streets, Gary is immediately determined to find the answers. From the moment he hears the words of government corruption he knows this will be the story of his career; it will make him or break him. It is in Gary’s DNA to not walk away, to ask the tough questions of individuals who would kill him as easily as look at him, and yet he pursues the truth at any cost. As things come to light he starts to discover a cover up that is far beyond anything he ever thought possible and the people he’s investigating are beginning to take notice of his curiosity. Suspicious vehicles begin to appear outside of his house, his credibility as a journalist begins to falter, and death threats start occurring and it’s all because he found a scandal that could rival Watergate. This is no longer smalltime, this is the biggest and the end may not be pretty for Gary Webb.

With a great cast led by Jeremy Renner and a highly engaging script, Kill the Messenger is both enthralling and entertaining, but it’s also eye opening and even a bit frustrating. It is well-paced and definitely one to check out if it’s playing in your area.

Rated R For: language and drug content
Run Time: 112 minutes
After Credits Scene: None
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rosemarie DeWitt, Robert Patrick, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Directed By: Michael Cuesta

Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 5/ Acting: 4/ Directing: 4/ Visuals: 3
OVERALL: 4 Nerdskulls





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Chase Gifford

"Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world"-Jean-Luc Godard