REVIEW — “Bombshell”
Starring Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, and Margot Robbie –– among 45 other names worth mentioning some other time –– Bombshell reimagines statements made by several women at Fox News who were sexually assaulted by network titan and CEO Roger Ailes (John Lithgow).
With an adaptation of events written by Charles Randolph (The Big Short, The Interpreter), director Jay Roach’s (Meet the Parents, Trumbo) Bombshell has all the potential to be as huge as the original story leading to Ailes’ public denunciation. And with such a timely first act, which perfectly parallels current events, it has even more support at its very structure.
Notwithstanding, Bombshell is more of a really strong fizz than a full-fledged explosion. While this film is comprised of quick wit and clever performances, it leans a bit too far on the nose. Fictional characters like Kayla Pospisil (Margot Robbie) are designed to represent the real-life victims with unheard or undervalued stories. Such characters personify those that didn’t share public attention with figures like Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) and Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman), but they still aren’t necessary to the film.
The publicized source material for this story is punchy enough on its own. It’s a chronicle that the modern audience would champion just the same as it did when the timeline first unfolded. Therefore, the addition of Pospisil as a leading character suggested that the known events alone weren’t enthralling enough to retell.
Ultimately, the addition of such details sometimes hurts the plot of the film. The addition of other details, however, elevates it entirely. Overwhelmingly accurate and intricate prosthetics turn many moments of Bombshell into mirror images of real-life events. Paired with some spot-on performances, the hair, makeup, and mastery behind the presentation of each character pay near-perfect tribute.
Rated R, Bombshell is in theaters now. 3/5