Men who stare at Goats, The
Bob Wilson is a rather mediocre reporter who finds his wife leaving him for their one-armed boss and decides to go to Iraq in a desperate means to show his wife just how great he is and win her back. While waiting for clearance to pass the border of Iraq, he meets Lyn Cassady, a man who used to work for the U.S. Army’s New Earth Army who use paranormal abilities to peacefully resolve incidents. The two head off into Iraq and slowly but steadily it becomes clear to Bob that Cassady isn’t in Iraq to do business but rather has a secret mission to carry out.
Sound and Vision:
We get a solid transfer which technically does its job really fine. The colors are vivid (especially in the flower power flashbacks) and the blacks are nicely deep and dark. Nothing bad to be said about the image quality which is perfect for home theater.
The sound is equally good and while it’s dialogue-centered the surround speakers and subwoofer do get their piece of the action, making the movie truly come to life.
None, we don’t even get a menu but the movie just immediately starts up. A pitty seeing as the US version gets some nice extras including interviews with the real people that inspired the book this movie is based on.
The Men who stare at Goats is based on the non-fiction book by British reporter Jon Ronson who accused the Bush administration to use this non-violent and rather flower power utopian wing of the army in rather corrupt and sick ways. Not so in the movie though. What we get to see is a rather mildly amusing film that sratches the surface of the things Ronson wanted to accuse but prefers to not go too deep and dark but instead remain superficial and lighthearted with focus on comedy. Unfortunately the comedy is a bit absent. Yes, there are a few somewhat decent jokes but you’ll never arrive at a point where you’ll be laughing out loud.
Despite the cast being filled with top actors, we never get to see them do anything really top notch. It’s like they’re all going on auto-pilot, doing their standard tricks. As such the movie just carries on at its own pace while the viewer sits there, wondering when things will become truly interesting. Which they never do.
The men who stare at goats is a strange movie that’s inspired by true facts but doesn’t really know what it wants to do. It tries to be a comedy but isn’t really funny, it has a dark edge but it doesn’t explore it. In the end you’ll be staring at the screen hoping something will happen, like the men staring at goats, hoping their mind will have an effect on the animal. Unlike the scene where something does happen to the animal, however, the sceen will just start showing the ending credits.