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September 30, 2006

All the King’s Men

All_the_kings_men Writer/director Steve Zallian butchers Robert Penn Warren’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and fails to purposefully adapt it into a socially relevant film. Zallian uses a puzzling plot that folds back in flashbacks that contributes to the film’s droning and unvaried pitch. Set during the depression, the story follows the political ascent of Louisiana hick Willie Stark (patterned after Louisiana governor and United States Senator Huey P. Long). Stark (Sean Penn) wins the adoration of the poor populace with promises of building bridges, schools and hospitals only to become one with the establishment that he pretends to usurp. The film whirs by like a cat chasing its tail. Hardly any of the all-star cast, including Jude Law, Mark Ruffalo, Kate Winslet, and Anthony Hopkins can hold a Louisiana accent longer that a dotted half-note. "All the King’s Men" is a grand scale embarrassment.

Rated PG-13. 120 mins. (D) (One Star)


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