8 May 2015 | wannall
West Wing on a shoestring, minus the wit
As a big fan of West Wing (in spite of its heavy doses of Democratic propaganda), I recognized very soon where we were in this movie, and was happy to see West Wing alums Rob Lowe and Richard Schiff together. I thought a couple other faces might have been familiar from there, too, but nothing happened to make me care enough to go check. This is more like a fan-made "next episode" of something similar to the West Wing than like a well-developed movie project, though that's slightly more on the writing and directing end than on the acting and technical end. It isn't actually awful, but it certainly isn't that good. There's no heavy lifting to do, and perhaps as a result all of the performances seem fine but nothing rises above "fine". Nothing here challenges the performers or the director, or us, and so they, and we, just settle in for a pleasant ride.
There's no particular reason to see Knife Fight, but if you like the type of story (look at the awful things we do in election politics!) you may want to see it just for completeness. There's also no particular reason to avoid Knife Fight. Nothing in it is truly bad. However, now I wish I had just watched the far superior Ides of March (2011) again instead. Ides is an excellent modern look at the same topic also well treated in Robert Redford's The Candidate (1972). Knife Fight is not in the same league as either of those, but it is playing the same game.
If Candidate and Ides are the bookends, then Knife Fight is one of the books they hold up. I suppose that just as we have murder and romance stories written for beach reading, there could be political movies for beach watching, and this would be a fine entry there.
There's more that could be said, but honestly, how much time do you spend analyzing your beach novels?