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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend

Charlie Wilson's War (2007) on IMDb

Plot Overview

battered crossTexas Congressman Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks) is an object of ridicule to the press and a nonentity to the Soviets. His biggest contributor Houston socialite Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts) is hard core, right wing anti-communist and in the 1980s has been crusading to arm the Afghans in their fight against Soviet aggressors. She prevails upon “Good Time Charlie” to tack a visit to Pakistan onto his visit to Israel. Pakistani President Zia Ul-Haq persuades him to visit a refugee camp before he leaves. After seeing the carnage wrought by the Soviets, Charlie is determined to get arms to the Afghan mujahideen (freedom fighters) capable of downing the hardened Soviet Hind chopper. He is good at pulling strings to get what he wants and then some. In the end he deservedly receives special recognition as an Honored Colleague of the Clandestine Services.


For this insignificant congressman to have achieved so much, one might almost want to add him to the list of, (Prov. 30:24) “There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise.”

(Prov. 30:25) “The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer.” Charlie started young working on his life­time career. He was born son of an accountant for a timber company. At age thir­teen he did influential election work and “fell in love with America” becoming patriotic. He joined the Boy Scouts and then was appointed to the Naval Academy. After distinguishing him­self at sea and gaining a reputation in port, he went on to represent the second congressional district in Texas. He'd be serving his sixth term when this story takes place, when his “greatest legislative achievement in six terms, is getting reelected five times.” He started early like that ant.

(Prov. 30:26) “The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks.” He is a shaky conservative/moderate Democrat in his home state of Texas where he knows what his constituents want: their church, their guns, and low taxes. It's a walk in the park for him; he's in like Flynn.

(Prov. 30:27) “The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands.”

Islam symbol

star of DavidTo throw the enemy off the scent, the arms supplied must be Soviet, and Israel has the largest cache of captured Soviet weapons. They need to be trans­ported over the mountains from Pakistan into Afghanistan. Egypt also manufactures Soviet arms that can be used, and Saudi Arabia is willing to front some money to match the US investment. We're looking at a clandes­tine alliance here of Israel, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Pakistan with America. These peoples have different religions, some of them antagonistic to each other. Yet the proverb from the Christian Old Testament and the Jewish Torah allows for the going forth by bands of the locusts with­out any (religious) over­sight. They are character­ized as being “exceeding wise.” The Muslims, also, are practical enough to tolerate working with “the people of the Book” on occasion. True, Paul does enjoin Christians not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers in, say, corporate worship where it would compromise our unique identity, but he says nothing against it for external endeavors that may prove useful.

(Prov. 30:28) “The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.” Charlie like that fat spider has found him­self a productive niche. He's on the Defense Appropriations Sub­com­mit­tee that sets the covert ops budget and on the Foreign Operations Sub­com­mit­tee as well. He's at the intersection of the State Dept., the Pentagon and the CIA. He's perfectly situated to “defeat the Soviet Union, and end the Cold War.”

Production Values

” (2007) was directed by Mike Nichols. It was written by Aaron Sorkin as adapted from George Crile's non-fiction book: Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History. It stars Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Om Puri and Ned Beatty. The actors did well, led by Tom Hanks as the titular character. Julia Roberts held down her role as the supremely confident socialite. Philip Seymour Hoff­man is memorable as the keen CIA man. The rest of the supporting cast was also impressive.

MPAA rated it R for strong language, nudity/sexual content and some drug use. It was the continual repartee and the fine editing that caused this other­wise mundane film to sparkle. It cuts to battle action scenes in the appropriate places. Lots of female flesh gets exposed in other spots.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

I found “Charlie's War” to be mildly entertaining and slightly educational. It doesn't drag its heels but moves right along with Charlie one step ahead of scandal. I'm not sure how much of an inspiration it would be for public service, but it doesn't foster mistrust of government too much.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Some decent action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good for Groups. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.