State of Play – the Movie

A journalist named Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe) is friends with a congressman Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck) who takes on a private security firm named PointCorp that provides mercenary services in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money goes to PointCorp, which, it turns out, is completely out of control, and has no qualms about killing anybody that gets in its way. Congressman Collins is on a committee that investigates the firm. Then people start dying. Cal starts running down the leads and eventually uncovers a huge dragnet of corruption, involving members of Congress, aids, staffers and of course private enterprise.

While I didn’t intend to actually watch this movie, I could not turn it off. I know this is fiction, but if this kind of stuff really goes down, I am scared for our country. This is Bush/Cheney stuff we inherited and it will take decades to clean up, while innocent people will continue to die.

But then, it’s a movie, it’s fiction, and perhaps it’s just an Orwellian warning about what might be.

And will somebody tell me why its title is “State of Play?”

Rating: **

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