Thursday, December 21, 2017

Wormwood- One Bad Trip

Being very much the Errol Morris fanboy, I was very much looking forward to Wormwood- his latest and longest (240 min. divided into 6 parts on Netflix) docu...drama... mentary... reenacment!? And it's on a subject near and dear to my heart- the mysterious 1953 death (ie- falling out a NYC hotel window) of a prominent US scientist who was unknowingly fed LSD as a part of the CIA mind control program called MK ULTRA

So, yeah, I was real psyched to view Wormwood, particularly with a bit o' time on my hands now during the holidays. What I wasn't particularly prepared for was the endlessly repetitive and  prolonged snooze fest that was to ensue before my (soon to not be) waking eyes. Unfortunately, it's as if the usually innovative Mr. Morris (for inexplicable reasons unknown) studied and adapted every lame, 2nd rate pseudo-documentary technique from every sleazy TV "true crime investigation," complete with the ad infinitum slow-mo sequences that serve as filler for not having anything else of consequence to portray. Take out the endlessly repeated reenactments, and we have a regular 90 minute production which would have played out just fine as your usual quality Morris production! 

We do get a most telling revelation (ie- confirmation) towards the end of the movie- two actually, both of which one could have readily surmised... One, Frank Olson's fall from a hotel window was obviously not a suicide, the other- his extrajudicial execution (straight outta the CIA manual) was not about a crazed, drug addled scientist who had to be shut up... it was about silencing someone who had become vocal in his opposition to the US germ warfare program during The Korean War.

Throughout the movie Mr. Morris interviews Frank Olson's son, and his long history of trying to get to the bottom of his father's death- a life long quest that consumed every aspect of his life, including his career. Unfortunately, in the end we too feel as if we've spent way too much energy pursuing something we should have spent way less time on...


Eric Rose said...

I want to go see the Shape of Water over Christmas.

Stan B. said...

Saw it last week- so STOP right here, and do not read comment below!!!

Stan B. said...

Everyone else... Tad too sentimental for moi + it couldn't decide whether it wanted to be a movie for grown ups, or... Disney!

Now... gonna go see... I, TONYA!