Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 10  Num. 84
                     ("Quid coniuratio est?")


Starring Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts

Review by Conspiracy Nation

This movie is very well done. This may be the first and even perhaps only review of "Conspiracy Theory" which gives a solid "thumbs up." You may be thinking, "Well of course... Conspiracy Nation would like such a movie." (Or you may be thinking, "Ah-hah. I'm just a tad more intellectual than you; I didn't like it.") If so, understand that I watched this movie with a critical eye and if it were garbage I'd tell you so. This film, "Conspiracy Theory," is not garbage and I recommend it.

Early radar signals picked up by this underground news outlet indicated that establishment-type film critics were all voting "no" on this flick. This raised the question, "Are they putting the film down because it really is bad? Or are they all locking arms against the subtext of this movie, afraid that potential movie-goers might think something like, 'Maybe there's something to this conspiracy stuff?'" Even Kenn Thomas, editor of a fine magazine which covers conspiracy theories, derides the movie. My question to Kenn is, Did you arrive at your negative judgement before or after you saw it? Hillary Clinton also reportedly turned thumbs down on "Conspiracy Theory," her reason being supposedly that co-star Julia Roberts smokes a cigarette in it.

Some overly bitter and skeptical conspiratologists have complained about Mel Gibson being "cute" in this movie; to them I say, How else do you draw crowds? Should Harold Weisberg have been the star?

If you see "Conspiracy Theory" (and I urge you to do so, since you cast a vote for it if you do), you will be like me: wondering how on earth one of the film critics could give this movie only 2 stars out of a possible 10. This movie is not about gimmicks, although yes there are action scenes sprinkled in. Yet to hear some supposed film connoisseurs, the movie is nothing but high-tech studio special-effects. It's not. What's great about "Conspiracy Theory" is that the viewer initially perceives main character Jerry Fletcher as a lunatic; then, as the story unfolds, the viewer experiences a dawning awareness that Fletcher is not so totally crazy as it seemed. This dawning awareness is shared, in the film, by co-star Julia Roberts who also metamorphises from knee-jerk skeptic toward an increased understanding.

A clue to what the story involves is "MK-Ultra," the CIA's mind-control program designed to produce remote-control assassins. It doesn't really go into all the horrors of that U.S. government project, assuming instead that most viewers already know enough about it. One other minor critique I have is the film's obligatory love story, something it seems all movies must have in order to get funding these days. However this hardened critic even found that aspect of the movie to be well done, with good chemistry between Gibson and Roberts and a touching "Beauty and the Beast" motif.

This movie, "Conspiracy Theory," is also sprinkled with humor, which balances perfectly with the underlying fear and horror of what has gone on. Star Mel Gibson is the sort who you don't know when he's being serious or otherwise. On a recent "Tonight Show," Gibson gave the impression he doesn't generally believe conspiracy theories, yet on a subsequent appearance on the "E!" channel he seems to believe just the opposite: friends tell how talking with him at length "really got them believing this stuff." Gibson reportedly has done a great deal of research into the various conspiracy theories, and has stated that "human nature doesn't change" and that "conspiracies have been going on since the time of Cain and Abel."

Preliminary reports have the movie, "Conspiracy Theory," nudging out "Air Force One" as number #1 money-making movie this past weekend. The people involved with this latest entry into the conspiracy genre must have known they were taking a risk in daring to present conspiracy theories in a positive light. Will their financial and career risks in daring to challenge prevailing orthodoxy be rewarded, thus signalling other producers that the genre can make money? Let's hope so.

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