I give this movie 2 Icees (out of 5) for being mostly a dull movie about what should be an exciting story. This is probably the most difficult movie that I’ve reviewed since I’ve started this site. Edward Snowden is a polarizing figure. People either consider him a traitor or a hero. This movie was definitely made by people that consider him a hero. I tried to make my personal feelings irrelevant because my goal here is strictly to give you a review based on it being a movie, albeit a movie based on actual events, as seen from that point of view.
If Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s portrayal in this movie is accurate, then Snowden is one of the most boring men to have ever walked the Earth. I’ve seen several movies with JGL and he has great range, so I have to assume that his portrayal is on point. If so, wow… Snowden has almost no personality whatsoever. How he would get someone as cute as Shailene Woodley (or the real Lindsay Mills) to fall for him is beyond me because this movie didn’t give any indication of anything that would seem to attract someone. Then again, throughout the entire movie, they refer to each other as boyfriend and girlfriend and even though they’re together for years, there’s never an “I love you” uttered by either of them. Now that I think of it, that is one thing I can believe. Speaking of those two, I never felt a chemistry between the two actors, even during the sex scene (which the film could have easily done without and probably gotten a PG-13 rating instead of the R it has. In this movie, that relationship was not developed well at all. Some may say it wasn’t necessary because the movie is about him and what he did, but as much as she’s in the movie, they could have worked at that relationship a bit more.
Another thing this movie lacked was any sense of real suspense or intrigue. Add that in with so much techno mumbo-jumbo language that made it difficult to follow most of the work that was being done, and it just was a flat movie. Finally, the movie is way too long (2hr, 14min).
During the credits the story kind of continues for a bit longer, but there are no scenes after the credits.
Next week, I hope to see both The Magnificent Seven and Storks!