Primary Colors is a story about politics and the mechanics behind a Presidential campaign. On the back of the box, the movie is described as a "savagely funny comedy," but I didn't find it that funny. But I don't know that much about politics, so I'll just do a quick analysis of Primary Colors is a movie, not as a political satire.
John Travolta stars as Governor Jack Stanton and Adrian Lester is Henry, one of the men running his campaign. They are joined by Oscar winners Emma Thompson, Kathy Bates, and Billy Bob Thornton, but there are some other recognizable figures in this movie as well. John Travolta is astoundingly convincing as a Bill Clinton clone, with white hair and a southern accent. This definitely was a new role for him and he pulled it off nicely (although he had to gain some weight for the role).
The script and acting is really good in Primary Colors and there are so many problems that arise during Jack's campaign that things manage to keep flowing. The notable part about this movie is how Jack and his campaign advisors deal with politics and how they try to work in unconventional ways. Jack starts out with some unique tactics but there still are the same propaganda commercials aimed at the other candidates, media rumors, and so forth. Throughout the movie, the campaign advisors move away from these tactics and try a more honest approach, but the real situation arises when they dig up some heavy dirt on the opposition.
Primary Colors is a well done movie with great acting, a superb cast, and a good story. The problem is that goes for about a half hour too long and it is not that funny. It can be rather boring. Some political insight would be helpful in further enjoying this movie, but if you don't know much about politics, or don't care, don't bother with Primary Colors.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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