In the running for one of the most preposterous films of the year; no star- power could save this ridiculous scenario, featuring anarchists (“The East”) Juno Page, Alexander Skarsgard, Toby Kebbell, dedicated vigilantes, using poisonous tactics to rid the country of corporate malfeasance; young idealists, intransigent, misguided; supposedly correcting environmental injustices; Machiavellian measures do not compensate for the wrongs perpetrated by monolithic, blindly capitalistic businesses.
Written and directed by the dynamic duo: Zal Batmanglij and Britt Marling; Ms. Marling stars as “Sarah” an ex FBI agent working for a private D.C. Intelligence agency (run by “Sharon”, Patricia Clarkson); infiltrates the “den” of anarchists; survives on Dumpster-Diving, cuisine that has yet to perish, but discarded by irresponsible consumers; partakes in a jejune game of “spin the bottle”; catches a mild case of Stockholm Syndrome; goes on a “jam”, euphuism for wrecking havoc, justified revenge on a reprehensible pharmaceutical company; innocents are pointlessly sacrificed, collateral damage expected in their well-intentioned, imprudent quest. Reminiscent of “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” (erroneously attributed to Samuel Johnson). Their intentions were prophetic and flawed.
In today’s environment we have seen major companies be held accountable for massive disregard for humanity: Shell Oil, Chevron, Texaco, British Petroleum; the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 has struggled to curtail flagrant abuses by the giants who control this vital resource necessary for survival in the twenty-first century; pharmaceutical companies are incessantly bombarded with class action suits. We have “miles to go”; “The East” proselytizes, yet fails to inspire; it triumphs in vapid, predictable exhortations; an unexciting, boring tale that never titillates or trespasses upon one’s imagination.
Left, longing for “Erin Brockovich” and “Silkwood”.
0NE & 1/2 STARS!!