Wag the Dog (1997)

This tedious-but-ticklish satire on spin-doctoring has a bunch of 
great lines (co-written by David Mamet), a bunch of familiar faces 
(Robert De Niro, Anne Heche, Willie Nelson, Woody Harrelson, etc.), 
and one of the funniest performances in years from Dustin Hoffman 
(as a hammy, canny Hollywood producer).  The rest of it-- stretch-
ed-too-thin situational comedy that this non-insider rarely found 
funny-- is the stuff of sleeping aids and sore backsides.  (I 
really would've liked some sense of time, too.  How many days have 
passed at any given point in the story?  What's the countdown till 
the all-important election?)  Let's hope that director Barry Levin-
son (SLEEPERS, DISCLOSURE) does better with sci-fi suspense; his 
adaptation of Michael Crichton's SPHERE, also with Hoffman, arrives 
next month.  Maybe that'll be a piece of cake.  (Rated "R"/95 min.)

Grade: C+

Copyright 1998 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: January 11, 1998

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