"Shallow Humanist Politics"
LIONS FOR LAMBS is perhaps the most superficial movie of the year. It is certainly one of the worst political movies ever made, full of cardboard characters, unconvincing situations, corny dialogue, empty performances posing as profound, and shallow partisan arguments showing how phony much of the “thinking” on the left end of the political spectrum really is. Worse, the movie, including the actors and the filmmakers, think they are being profound when they clearly are not, even when they’re telling the truth (which is seldom, by the way)
LIONS FOR LAMBS is really three stories. In the first story, a Republican politician played by Tom Cruise is having a private interview with a reporter played by Meryl Streep. He tells her that he has a new plan for completely defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan by sending small Special Forces platoons to snowy mountain areas so that they can surprise the mountain fighters in the spring.
As they speak, the troops are actually flying out to the areas in question. The helicopter of one platoon, however, experiences unexpected fire from the nearby mountain range, and one of the soldiers falls out of the copter onto a small mountain plateau below. The soldier’s buddy deliberately jumps out after him, and the army launches a rescue attempt.
At the same time, a political science professor played by Robert Redford, who also directed, tries to convince a cynical student to go back to his studies so he can change the world, including, apparently, the policies of the Republican Party that the professor and the reporter think are destroying the country. The professor just happens to be the former professor of the two soldiers trapped in Afghanistan.
While bashing the War on Terror and vaguely attacking the conservative policies of the GOP, LIONS FOR LAMBS invokes America’s failure during the Vietnam War. Of course, the conveniently fails to note that, after the U.S. pulled out of Southeast Asia, the neo-fascist Communists in Cambodia and Vietnam murdered three million people, and imprisoned even more. Also, the movie forgets to note all the disasters that left-wing and liberal do-gooder policies have created when it comes to the War on Poverty, America’s private healthcare system, and our education system, not to mention the war against crime, including the war against terrible criminals like pedophiles and rapists (e.g., the liberal judges who have given lenient jail time to many such despicable predators). And, need we say anything about the anti-Christian policies by many liberals in the government, in the ACLU, and in the teacher unions, not to mention the attempts by left-wing activists on many college campuses to stifle the free speech of conservative speakers like Ann Coulter and Pat Buchanan as well as more moderate people like Islam scholar Daniel Pipes.
At one point in this movie, the reporter has the gall to say that, before some corporations took over the major “news” networks, the news networks were the epitome of fair and balanced, objective, deep digging news gathering. Her comments would be hilarious if they were not so insulting and condescending. The liberal bias of the major “news” networks in this country since the 1950s has been well documented.
Even setting aside its leftist ideology, LIONS FOR LAMBS is already terribly out of date, since it seems that the current troop surge in Iraq is working fairly well and the Taliban has been unable to reverse much of its losses in Afghanistan despite some recent new attacks. In fact, there was a recent report that the terrorist group Al Qaeda has pretty much disappeared from certain areas in Iraq because of the surge. And, some NATO countries have yet to fulfill their pledges to help train the Afghan military and police, so the situation there is liable to see similar improvements in the coming months. Of course, time will tell regarding future events in the Middle East. One thing’s for sure, though. The only solution this movie seems to offer is troop withdrawal, a.k.a. retreat, so one fails to see what real solution the filmmakers have for making sure Islamic and Arab terrorism decreases rather than increases.
Finally, it should be noted that, when the professor earnestly tells the student that people have a duty to make a difference and do something to make the world a better place, the word God, much less the words Jesus Christ, never pass his lips. In other words, LIONS FOR LAMBS is nothing more than neo-fascist, atheist radical socialism and totalitarianism posing as “enlightened” liberalism. It’s clearly one of the dumbest, ridiculous things moviegoers will get to sit through in the next 20 years or more. Some will take it seriously, however, we presume, so that makes this movie a dangerous, demagogic piece of secular humanist propaganda that can only make the world worse, not better.
(HHH, Co, RHRH, APAP, Acap, LLL, VV, MM) Very strong humanist worldview with a strong anti-conservative, anti-Republican tone that indicates a possible Neo-Marxist or Communist ideology, though the movie leaves things rather vague concerning social and economic issues, plus some strong revisionist left-wing history regarding the Vietnam War and the War on Terror with a subtext suggesting that the United States military is pretty incompetent and can be led by the nose by conservative politicians and a silly anti-capitalist argument jumps to false conclusions; 31 obscenities (including some “f” words), eight strong profanities, three light profanities, and an obscene gesture; strong action violence such as gunfire, soldiers fall or jump out of helicopter, bombs explode, gunfight battle, and bloody wounds on two soldiers that are almost too graphic but fall short of that; no sex; no nudity; no alcohol; no smoking; and, cynicism rebuked and specious arguments presented lacking facts, logic and solid philosophical/theological support, which could lead to poor thinking skills by impressionable moviegoers.
LIONS FOR LAMBS, Robert Redford’s left-wing attack on President Bush’s War on Terror, tells three stories. In the first story, a Republican politician played by Tom Cruise is telling a reporter played by Meryl Streep about a new plan to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan. In the second story, two injured Special Forces soldiers who are part of the plan get trapped on a mountain plateau during winter. In the third story, a political science professor played by Robert Redford tries to convince a cynical student to change the world and defeat the evil Republican policies. The professor happens to be the former teacher of the trapped soldiers.
LIONS FOR LAMBS is perhaps the most superficial movie of the year. It is certainly one of the worst political movies ever made. It is full of cardboard characters, unconvincing situations, corny dialogue, empty performances posing as profound, and shallow partisan arguments. The professor wants to change the world to make it a better place, but neither God nor Jesus Christ, plays any role in his, or the liberal reporter’s, worldview. Thus, LIONS FOR LAMBS is a dangerous, demagogic piece of secular humanist propaganda.