Swing Vote

"Weak"

Swing Vote Review


Swing Vote arrives during one election cycle but heavily references another, spinning the hanging chad scandal of the 2000 presidential race into a formulaic feel-empowered comedy for today's huddled masses.

Bud (Kevin Costner) and Molly Johnson (gifted newcomer Madeline Carroll) assume Hollywood's textbook father-daughter duo: she's the pint-sized "adult" of the trailer they call home, and he's the whiny child. On the eve of a tight presidential race, a mix-up at the polls negates Bud's ballot, which doesn't sound like a big deal until it's determined that the election will come down to a photo finish decided by one vote -- Bud's. If you think that's even remotely possible, by all means, read on. As Bud gets a crash course in democracy from smarty-pants Molly, incumbent president Andrew Boone (Kelsey Grammer) and left-leaning White House hopeful Donald Greenleaf descend on Texico, New Mexico with glad-handlers in tow in hopes of winning the slob's valuable support.

When I tell you Swing Vote hammers us over the head with its message, I couldn't be more literal. Costner's Bud stumbles out of a bar in one particular scene and clunks his skull on a sign that reads "Vote today!" The fact that the same sign remains outside the tavern weeks later puzzled me, but Swing isn't the kind of a film that concerns itself with details.

Writer/director Joshua Michael Stern sets his phasers to "crowd pleaser." Corn-fed classic rock staples fill his soundtrack, while scenes end predictably on the back-beats of forced one-liners. Costner can do the loveable loser in his sleep. He makes a nice team with Carroll, though they play the odd-couple tune until the guitar strings snap. The presence of dependable supporting cast members -- Stanley Tucci, Nathan Lane, George Lopez, and Judge Reinhold -- lulls us into a false sense of comedic security. But aside from a few inspired campaign advertisements created in response to Bud's wacky opinions, this screenplay is light on laughs (and too scared to declare its own opinions on crucial matters, right down to its abrupt non-ending).

Speaking of scared, tear back the studio gloss and you'll reveal a terrifying message. Swing Vote spends two hours demeaning the hillbilly cowpokes of flyover country, then reminds us just how powerful they can be in a general election. Now that's scary. Is it too late to change "We the people" to "We the people who somehow are deemed fit?"

SPOILER: He votes for Nader.



Swing Vote

Facts and Figures

Run time: 120 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st August 2008

Box Office USA: $16.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $17.6M

Budget: $21M

Distributed by: Touchstone Pictures/Treehouse Films

Production compaines: Touchstone Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 38%
Fresh: 55 Rotten: 91

IMDB: 6.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Joshua Michael Stern

Producer: , , Terry Dougas

Starring: as Bud Johnson, as Donald Greenleaf, as President Andrew Boone, as Martin Fox, as Kate Madison

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.