I was always fascinated with whistle-blowers, journalists and their courage to do the things they did. I mean, I know that the government has been fucking us in the ass for centuries, ever since some guy figured out that if he stands tall and yells really loud, he will get a bigger chunk of meat. And this is what they have been doing, only now we are slowly finding out about it. Secret experiments, death lists, murders, torture, and all the other fun stuff are the things that we now know happened.
And are happening, like right now. Gary Webb was one of those guys with big balls and he had the courage to expose some of the lies or truths… I liked Jeremy Renner since S.W.A.T., but with this movie, he established himself as an all-around great actor who can be anyone. Kill the Messenger has that vibe that people who were involved knew that they had to honor the story and they gave their best.
And although it has a lot of moving elements, this is basically a story about one brave and relentless man and his quest for the truth. This should resonate with everyone who felt that same burning feeling in their gut upon seeing or discovering injustice in this incredibly unjust world.
The year is 1996 and one man made the right choice. His name is Gary Webb and he works for the San Jose Mercury News, a small newspaper overshadowed by the big guys. He accidentally stumbled onto a story about an imprisoned drug dealer awaiting trail and decided to pursue it. Soon he will find himself in a center of a huge shitstorm, whit his name on it. He followed the story and the story involved: drugs, CIA, government, drug dealers, and many, many more interesting stars…
Kill the Messenger is a complex movie, although it doesn’t look like that, demonstrating the skills of everyone involved. If you want a story about journalism, you got it; a story about government corruption, lies and retaliation, you got it; a story on a much larger scale about USA and Nicaragua, you got it; I can go on and on with this.
Gary Webb’s book was published back in 1998 and a lot of time has passed since then. If you would like to expand your knowledge on how this whole thing went down I recommend you check out television show Narcos. It revolves around Pablo Escobar but it also details the ties between governments, drug dealers, and many other players. I always wondered how shit like government extortion, threats, and manipulations are done and I had the opportunity to see exactly that in this movie.
Showing us what will happen to you if you tell on them and what kind of tools they have at their disposal. I cannot stress enough how important it is to see this movie. It’s a sobering experience and on top of that, a high-quality movie with a lot of great actors. It’s almost surprising that a movie like this, a high-profile one, was released into the public. As one of the final notes about this movie, I would like to leave you with the fact that the real Gary Webb was found dead in 2004. He had two gunshot wounds. His death was ruled a suicide.
Director: Michael Cuesta
Writer: Peter Landesman, Gary Webb, Nick Schou
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Robert Patrick, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Paz Vega, Barry Pepper, Oliver Platt