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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Windy President Gone With a Plea

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Plot Overview

football and flagSanta's workshopWelcome to America
Now Speak EnglishThe third term U.S. President (Nick Offerman) has disbanded the FBI and hopes soon to militarily defeat the Western Forces (WF) of California & Texas. Joining them in their secession are Oregon & Florida, possibly soon to include the Carolinas. The vast swath of interior states, how­ever, are neutral, the conflict not concerning them. Friendly to the U.S. are the North Pole, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland. Unfriendlies are Latin America, Central America, South America, and especially China. And if you reside in the U.S., you better speak the King's English.

darkroomphotographerdiscipleshipMotoring together from NYC to DC are has-been journalist Sammy (Stephen McKinley Henderson,) hardened photo­journal­ista Lee (Kirsten Dunst,) her horny cohort Joel (Wagner Moura,) and hopeful war photog­rapher 23-year-old Jessie Collins (Cailie Spaeny.) They want to capture the president's last words before the WF arrive to “take care of him.” Jessie also requires some looking after by Lee if she is to survive.


card playersThe military action lends itself to comparison with one of Kenny Rogers's songs concerning a chance encounter with “The Gambler” on a train bound for nowhere. He offered his fellow passenger the advice that “the secret to surviving is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep.” The refrain of the song goes:

You've got to know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away, Know when to run. You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table. There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

This wisdom of the gambling man's repartee is old as the hills and was passed on by a raconteur, Agur in Proverbs 30:1, whose four meta­phors offered the same life advice as did Rogers's Gambler. That we find in, (Prov. 30:29-31) “There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going: A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any; A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.”

We have Agur's “lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any,” and we have Rogers's “know[ing] when to hold 'em.” A crippled journalist knows when it's time to confront the bad guys head on, and he does.

We have Agur's “king, against whom there is no rising up,” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to fold 'em.” A king who knows when to give in to his subjects doesn't experience any uprising. Wise discretion leads the vast number of states (“to stay out of it. With every­thing that's been going on, it seems like it's for the best.”) Not­with­standing their neutrality, the results are likely to funda­mentally affect them, as was expressed by a banker in a Bonner book:

I am a Swiss who wishes the Confederation to remain as it is. If Hitler conquers England, then all of Europe will be his sovereign territory. Switzer­land will be swallowed up, as it was swallowed up by Napoleon. We would be the last to fall, but when we did, we would disappear as a nation. (65)

battered crossdwarf goatWe have Agur's “he goat also” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to walk away.” Instead of driving directly from New York to the Capitol, the journalists take a circuitous route through Pittsburgh and West Virginia to skirt the hostilities and traffic jams.

We have Agur's “greyhound” and Rogers's “Know[ing] when to run.” In our movie it doesn't do the adventurers any good to “drive like a maniac” unless they have to escape a hot zone, and then they better.

The gambler gave the advice:

You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

The war photos include battle souvenirs as well as atrocities. Hard to tell how the public will receive them, which is not shown.

Production Values

” (2024) was written and directed by Alex Garland. It stars Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura and Cailee Spaeny. Also featured are Sonoya Mizuno as British reporter Anya, and Jefferson White as cameraman Dave. Kirsten Dunst gave an impressive performance, as did the whole cast. Kirsten's husband Jesse Plemons was hands-down the scariest movie villain I've seen in a long time.

gift bought at counterMPA rated it R for strong violent content, bloody/disturbing images, and language throughout. The production used full blanks for the gunfire, not the usual half or quarter blanks, to produce a discharge loud as real gunfire. It was bone-rattling in the theater. We also had peaceful bucolic scenes and some clothes shopping by the women.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

Near the end a negress sergeant negotiates with a negress advocate over the President's fate, whether he lives or dies. This seems to turn the original American Civil War on its head. There negro slaves were caught up in the middle of a conflict between (mostly) White sides. Here two blacks argue over the fate of the Great White Chief. Go figure.

The issues being fought over are obscure and even the combatants, some of them, seem uncertain. Perhaps it's just an illustration of the end game of whole­sale disunity. That being the case, the movie can be taken in by mixed groups with their own opinions. The action is first rate and the drama not half bad.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Many suspenseful moments. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Bonner, Paul Hyde. Excelsior!. Copyright, 1955, by Lilly M. Bonner. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1955. Print.

Rogers, Kenny. Songwriter Don Schlitz. “The Gambler.” Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Pub. LLC. Web.