With a trio of A-list actors and an intriguing story with set against the backdrop of one of the most controversial media organizations in the world today, you would think that “Bombshell” could easily hold an audience. The problem here is a film that surrounds it’s plot with cartoons and empty moments instead of a skillful delivery that could have been a real winner.
Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) and Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) are FOX News anchors at different phases of their career which has been steered up to this point by CEO Roger Ailes (John Lithgow). When Carlson is fired after taking a stand against the sexual harassment heavy environment lead by her detestable boss, its up to the other victims, including aspring star Kayla Popisil (Margot Robbie) to stand with her to ensure justice is delivered.
The problem here is that the film never takes itself seriously enough to really make us feel for these characters. Ailes is a grunting, donut throwing, fool surrounded by a group of other completely ignorant FOX News personalities that bumble around the entirety of the film like a bad Saturday Night Live skit. If this were a comedy that would be fine, but not if you’re truly iseeking out justice for your protagonist, that makes it difficult to bond with your audience.
What is right here is Nicole Kidman, who does manage to breakthrough the fog to deliver a great performance and her award nominations for the role are well deserved. You do manage to care for her personality but out of the three stars she’s a distant third in her time featured. Director Jay Roach does manage to catch the FOX news sets and the 2016 election environment down nicely.
Bombshell could have been a great success. The problem is that it never truly decides what it wants to be and that’s why it’s not as powerful as it should be.
Note: The #BombshellMovie features a compilation character played by Margot Robbie who’s background is an on air personality from Central Florida. That could keep Orlando audiences guessing if it’s a tie in to a real person despite being a single detail from 20 anonymous accounts.
Running time: 1 hour 49 minutes