Imagine if you will a disaster film like “Titanic”, “Towering Inferno” or “Poseidon Adventure” and then imagine that instead of the disaster you have the 1968 assassination of presidential hopeful Robert F Kennedy. Well that is what “Bobby” is in a nutshell.
Like any disaster film, you spend the first forty minutes getting to know the people who will feel its impact.
You always have a doomed couple who will be shattered by latter events, the man in charge, the rugged veteran and the conflicted and corrupted executive. These are the staples of a disaster flick and they are all included in some way or another.
So let’s go through a checklist for “Bobby”:
The doomed couple, Lindsay Lohan and Elijah Wood. Check.
The man in charge, William H Macy. Check
The rugged veteran, Anthony Hopkins. Check.
The corrupt executive, Christian Slater. Check
The disaster. The assassination of presidential hopeful Robert F Kennedy. Check.
“Bobby” is a great ensemble cast drama and you have dynamic performances from Sharon Stone and Christian Slater who for me were the best of the ensemble. I liked seeing so many famous faces in what felt like a very indie styled film. I can’t say that I lived through what Bobby Kennedy meant to people but the film dictates that the man stood for hope and it is something Americans need now.
A lot of people don’t remember that “Bobby” director Emilio Estevez has directed other films in the past. He started directing with 1986’s under-rated gem “Wisdom”.
The film was critically mauled which I still find surprising, rent it and you will see what I mean. His next directorial effort was the 1990 comedy “Men at Work” where he co-starred with his brother Charlie Sheen. Then his next two films were critically raved which included 1996’s “War at Home” and 2000’s “Rated X”.
“Bobby” is the biggest project that Estevez has ever embarked on and with so many famous people in it I can’t imagine it was easy to accomplish. But the more I think about the film the more I feel that something is missing. It should have moved me but instead it felt more like a condensed TV mini-series. I know that it is bad to say but it did. Maybe if I had lived in 1968 I would have had more appreciation but that’s how it made me feel. I am probably in the minority for saying that.
I can say I enjoyed “Bobby” but I didn’t feel any magic occur.
(3 out of 5)
So Says the Soothsayer.