See Arnold Run Movie Review

Originally made for A&E television, this is a visualization of the early career and later political leanings of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was at the center of California's unprecedented and unbearably tacky 2003 Governer recall election.

Say what you will about the movie itself: The casting is either inspired or excruciating or both. Jürgen Prochnow as the older Schwarzenegger. Mariel Hemingway as Maria Shriver, and Nora Dunn as Ariana Huffington. Wow. Prochnow alone is terrifying: He doesn't really look much like Arnold (and he's about 120 pounds light), but they've done his hair up to make him look like a bizarro approximation of him. Hemingway and Dunn are equally disturbing: Hemingway lowers her voice an octave to play Shriver. Dunn sounds like she's been listening to Huffington on the radio for an hour, and this is her best approximation. I was disappointed that the producers didn't pull out a little guy to play Gary Coleman (who also ran for Governor) or get porn star Mary Carey to play herself.

Structurally, See Arnold Run is much more interesting than its casting. The movie bounces between 1974, when Arnold was mounting his 5th straight Mr. Olympia bid, and 2003, during the elections. Director James B. Rogers goes to great lengths to draw substantial comparisons between the two, showing his similar tactics, his drive and ambition, and how his attitude towards women may or may not have changed at all. Of course, the "Gropenator" scandal plays a big part in the film, though it ultimately turned out to be much ado about nothing.

With Arnold's rating slipping and a second term looking unlikely, the film's basic premise that Arnold is as unstoppable as the Terminator seems to be a bit flawed, and compressing such a wild and varied life story into 82 minutes has undoubtedly left some major points out. See Arnold Run is not a nuanced production, but when it works, it's occasionally insightful and often quite funny.


Comments

See Arnold Run Rating

" OK "

Rating: R, 2005

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