Mad City [1997] Movie Review Recommendation

Mad City [1997]

Directed by famous Costa-Gavras this movie is a bit slow for a classical hostage situation flick.mad city But that is done intentionally, because it works on different levels, focusing on one man against the media and its exploitation. Media sensationalism has been around for ages, you can go to UK’s Penny Dreadfulls from 19th century or even further back and find that this is a natural occurring event. However, in the recent years, with ideologies and religions slowly dissolving in front of the coming technological tide, this sort of thing became outrageous. Perhaps this is the reason why Mad City bombed at a box office. The movie has its flaws, from pandering to the public and extremely familiar characters (Average Joe, Execs, One Man) to wobbly satire, but none of them influenced it so much that it fails.

Sam Baily, after the loss of his job, takes everyone in his former workplace as hostages. One of them happens to be a journalist who immediately starts his work. The portrayal of the following events through the media is something that this movie focuses on. And we all know how bad the coverage can get. Travolta and Hoffman were brilliant in their roles, trying their best with a script that could have been edgier and a bit more unpredictable, if we’re going to be honest. Beautifully directed and shot this movie is just an example of how Gavras works, if you liked this one you might one check out rest of his movies, especially Le couperet and Amen. Enjoy.

Director: Costa-Gavras

Cast: Dustin Hoffman, John Travolta, Alan Alda, Mia Kirshner, Blythe Danner, William Atherton

Fun Stuff: In the United States, the film opened at #6 at the box office with an opening weekend gross of $5.2 million. It went on to gross $11 million.


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