Movie Review: Absolute Power
March 02, 2008

There's something about Clint Eastwood. I watch him on-screen and I can't help but care about the characters he portrays. Perhaps it's the way he makes everything look so effortless.

That's what he does in "Absolute Power," a movie in which he starred (and a film he also directed). Taken from what I have every confidence was a best-selling novel, the movie tells the story of an aging thief, estranged from his daughter and about to pull a big heist. Then the night of the event has arrived and he's on the job. Everything is going great... until some serious crap goes down. Suddenly, he's an accidental witness to a murder committed by the President himself. Suddenly he's the annoying fly in the ointment that prevents the cover-up from being perfect.

Eastwood's character isn't perfect, though. His first inclination is to run, but of course that changes and the other characters in the movie develop more (with help from other fine actors like Gene Hackman, Laura Linney and Ed Harris). All around, there are strong performances here and I got the feeling as I watched that I could have been entertained if everyone had simply sat around the table talking about the weather. That's the kind of direction Eastwood brings to the picture.

So what is there to say, really? What is there to critique? Well, the movie does sometimes drag on a bit, but never in a way that made me wish it would end. Quite the opposite, actually. It's just over two hours but when it finally wound down I was wishing it didn't have to. I wanted to see Eastwood's character get into more scrapes, and to escape from them relatively unscathed.

"Absolute Power" is an achievement. There have been other movies touching on similar material. There have been thrillers with dynamic leads and Gene Hackman has even stepped in for an appearance in at least one of them ("Enemy of the State" comes to mind), but there really hasn't been another movie quite like "Absolute Power." It's a must-see if you like slow-paced thrillers that take the time to explore the characters, to really build depth to them so that you care about the little things so much that the explosions don't have to level a city block just to hit you in the gut.

Watch "Absolute Power" the next time you have two hours to spare. If you're anything like me, you won't regret doing so.

10/10

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johnny_cairo johnny_cairo - March 04, 2008 (07:11 PM)
Unforgiven is roughly 10000X better. Don't see Blood Work unless you want to see a love scene involving Clint's horrific bypass scar.
honestgamer honestgamer - March 04, 2008 (08:15 PM)
I actually own "Unforgiven" on DVD and I preferred "Absolute Power." Of course, "Unforgiven" was by no means a bad movie (though sad)...
johnny_cairo johnny_cairo - March 05, 2008 (05:05 AM)
I guess I'm more into epic tragedies and that sort of thing. His recent WWII epics and Million Dollar Baby are also along those same lines. Check out the Every Which Way saga, that's a bit more cheerful.
honestgamer honestgamer - March 05, 2008 (05:58 PM)
I forgot about those! My dad bought one of those, I think "Every Which Way But Loose," when I was a kid and we watched it. I don't remember thinking much of it at the time, but I was too young to properly enjoy it, I'm sure. I remember there being a monkey.

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