With nuclear holocaust nigh imminent, I thought it would be good to watch a movie about that other time we almost bombed another country.
Thirteen Days is a movie about the Cuban Missile Crisis. It's a lot like the crisis we have no wwith Iran, only it didn't take so long and we had a president who wanted to do everything possible to avoid going to war. So, it's actually nothing like the current crisis.
My only problem with the movie is that Kevin Costner is in it. I don't know what it is about him, but his movies tend to not make me entirely satisfied with his perfomance. I guess the major exceptions would be Tin Cup (it's not Caddyshack, but what other golf movie is? At least it is better than that one with Shia Lebouf) and Thirteen Days.
The movie centers around the thirteen days of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the inside the Oval Office discussions between John F. Kennedy (Bruce Greenwood), Bobby Kennedy (Steven Culp) and JFK's political director Kenny O'Donnell (Costner). Days shows the intra-office politics of people just itching to go to war with the Soviets and how JFK was able to stave off annihilation with his leadership abilities and his amazing intellect. Though the movie was released in 2000, it is hard not to view it through the lens of the last six years and offer political commentary.
I really wish we had a president like JFK now. When you watch this movie, you realize that our current leaders in Washington pale in comparison. Kennedy was very much hands-on and able to reign in his advisors to take the proper course and keep America from getting into something it could not get itself out of. The Bush White House, however, obviously lacks real leadership. The now well-known fights between Colin Powell's State Department and Rumsfeld's DoD show just how little control George W. Bush exerts. Kennedy was able to make decisions himself and tell his advisors what to do (with a little help from close friends and confidantes) to see us through safely.
The other thing I really enjoyed was seeing shades of the man RFK would become. He was really two men; the one before Nov. 22, 1963 and the one after. The one after that day was someone that was truly empathetic to other people's losses and a true statesman. He was just the man we needed to be elected in 1968. Tragically, that wasn't allowed to happen. It was nice to see an actor that could show you that man in the room with the Soviet ambassador making the deal that stopped all out nuclear war.
A fine film for anyone seeking a historical drama done right. And for anyone who dares to find out just how close we came to the end of the world all those years ago. Common Sense gives it 5 out of 5 American flag lapel pins.