Adam Driver stars in dull torture porn movie 'The Report'

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Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Adam Driver stars in dull torture porn movie 'The Report'


Adam-Driver-stars-in-dull-torture-porn-movie-The-Report



Adam Driver stars in dull torture porn movie 'The Report'

“The Report,” true to its no-nonsense name, does the admirable work of trying to interest viewers in the way that bureaucracy can be used to hide the most terrible truths. Alas, the movie gets as buried in paper-pushing as its characters do.


Adam Driver stars in this true story as Daniel J. Jones, the US Senate staff investigator who uncovered the CIA’s efforts to whitewash its program of “enhanced interrogation techniques” — a k a torture — of detainees in the months and years following the Sept. 11 attacks, and the fact that the interrogations were ultimately near-useless.


You have to appreciate Driver’s range — between this, “Marriage Story” and the upcoming Star Wars release he’ll have hit three genres in two months — and it’s satisfying to watch his policy nerd slowly come to a boil of rage. But the screenplay by director Scott Z. Burns (writer of “The Informant!” and “The Laundromat”) spans so much time and information that it ends up saddling its powerhouse cast (Jon Hamm, Michael C. Hall, Maura Tierney, Corey Stoll, Matthew Rhys and Annette Bening under a helmet of hair as Sen. Dianne Feinstein) with hefty chunks of exposition that feel more like Wikipedia entries than dialogue.


Burns intersperses Jones’ investigation with dramatizations of the interrogations, so sadistically hard to watch they end up undercutting one of the film’s most interesting points: Jones discovers that the CIA allegedly lied when it claimed that information gleaned from torture led to the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. That official version of torture-plus-manhunt was depicted in 2012’s “Zero Dark Thirty.” In one “Report” scene, Jones casts a withering eye toward an ad for “Zero Dark Thirty,” but the over-the-top violence echoes the torture-porn scenes that defined Kathryn Bigelow’s thriller.


In contrast, the most chillingly effective moment is when two shady contractors (Douglas Hodge and T. Ryder Smith) initially present a slideshow of their techniques to CIA staffers. As they casually flip through stick-figure depictions of waterboarding, small-box confinement, sleep deprivation and “mock burial,” you truly get a feel for how so many officials rationalized looking the other way: via a PowerPoint presentation of horrors, masquerading as patriotism.



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