An interesting voyage through the looking glass that never enters rough sea
Images: Open Road Films

By Jay Hunter Delving into the political wasteland of Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks, Oliver Stone does his best to shed light on a relevant subject, hung to the backdrop of pretty landscapes.

Opening in a Hong Kong hotel room just three years ago, a gaggle of journalists (Zachary Quinto, Melissa Leo) await the arrival of Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who has promised a deluge of digital cipher’s. Stone uses this hotel room as a framing device as we’re flashed back and forth to different exotic locations throughout the world.

Initially we’re transported to 2004 where Snowden’s dreams of being a soldier in the US army are shattered due to medical discharge. Picking himself up and dusting himself off, Snowden lands a job working for the CIA as a cyber analyst. On his journey of (predictably) acing tests in record time and working his way to the top, he discovers that the National Security Agency are in fact spying on every man, woman and child in the world.

As we jet around the globe; America, Switzerland, Hawaii, Japan, Snowden’s growing paranoia becomes a hinderance to his relationships and own sanity. This becomes an ever increasingly interesting element of the story as we learn more about Snowden as a man. Although the thrills of the story never quite land, it’s poignant narrative of todays Orwellian times act as a vessel in which it’s great cast can use to glide toward it’s reassured climax.


For more on Snowden, Birth of a Nation & Underworld: Blood Wars and more tune into The Jump Scare Podcast this Sunday at 7pm GMT

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