In my review of the marketing campaign for Our Brand Is Crisis I wrote:
I think the campaign as a whole is a bit inconsistent and kind of confusing. The movie may in fact be a finely-tuned mix of comedy and drama, which wouldn’t be surprising considering the director is David Gordon-Green, who has some experience in walking that line. But in and of itself, the marketing just comes off as dipping toes in both waters without committing to either and therefore may create a sense of trepidation in the audience who will either be turned off at the prospect of being preached to about politics or who can’t decide if it looks like a serious think-piece or a quirky, funny satire.
Yeah, that’s unfortunately about right. The movie itself goes back and forth between an incredibly earnest drama about the plight of the people in Bolivia and its leadership and something verging on a Primary Colors-esque satire. None of that is because of Bullock, who gives a consistently good performance no matter what the tone of the scene in question is, but with that tone changing from scene to scene it’s kind of hard to get a toehold as the audience.
Which is a shame because I do think there’s a story worth telling here about how the leadership of a country changes but nothing stays the same for the people who are caught in the wheels of society. There are these grand campaigns run to capture the imaginations and votes of the populace as everyone promises change but when that change comes it winds up being exactly the same as it was before. But that message is tacked on in a very haphazard way that doesn’t even involve the main cast. All of the scheming and plotting comes to naught. It didn’t matter who won because the people on the outskirts all lost.
Again, unfortunately the campaign sells just that experience. There’s two-thirds of a good movie here but it’s undercut by the one-third that can’t find its footing. So that disjointed, kind of confusing tone from the trailer is, sadly, representative of the movie as a whole.