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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

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.