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Uwe Boll Says 'Zero Dark Thirty' Is Pro-CIA & He Doesn't Buy The Story It's Selling

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by Kevin Jagernauth
May 9, 2013 3:14 PM
8 Comments
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So, this week Uwe Boll's new film "Assault On Wall Street" comes out and predictably, it's terrible. But it does mean the ever quotable Boll is now doing interviews, and with the revelation this week that the CIA had a bigger hand in shaping "Zero Dark Thirty" than previously thought, Boll's insights into that film have very slightly more resonance, though they are still kinda bonkers, too.

A bit of background first. 'Assault' is an Issues Movie (sorta) for Boll, telling the story of a blue-collar New Yorker who goes postal pretty much after he loses his savings, and his insurance company stops covering the treatments for his near-fatally ill wife. So it kinda touches on the recent financial world turmoil and the Occupy movement (at least accord to the press notes), so Boll is doing something Important. But when asked by FilmDrunk what he thought about other recent movies that ripped their plots from the headlines, he singled out "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Argo" for criticism (even though the latter is based on an event that happened more than three decades ago). 

"I think both 'Argo' and 'Zero Dark Thirty' have super pro-CIA tendencies, which I have a problem with. They’re like, the CIA is the best organization in the world. The whole Bin Laden thing…I have to say, I think 'Argo' is the better movie, because the story worked for me. It’s almost like how it was, maybe 10% more dramatic," he said. Okay fine, the dude can have an opinion...and then it gets even more interesting...

" 'Zero Dark,' I have a problem with because I still don’t really believe that whole story. I just cannot believe it. Everyone in the movie has iPhones, everyone has cameras, there are Navy Seals writing books about it, but nobody releases a photo? If you have a photo of the dead Bin Laden, you can make five million bucks from that. This is what I don’t get. I looked at India and Pakistan, most of their media says the guy died six years ago of kidney failure. But you have nothing to sell. No, you need a drama, you need something like this," Boll ruminated. "The details in 'Zero Dark Thirty,' I was not happy with. I also didn’t like the Jessica Chastain character. She acts like she’s so sad about the whole torture, but completely goes with it. I totally disliked her. But I’m happy that movies like this are getting made. I love movies like 'The French Connection' and 'Goodfellas,' movies based on real stuff going on. I’m happy to watch movies like this compared to 'The Hobbit.' "

So, what Boll presupposes is maybe Bin Laden was already dead, but hooray for "Goodfellas"? Uh, keep on, keepin' on, guy. "Assault On Wall Street" opens on a Friday in case you're curious.


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8 Comments

  • Alan B | May 9, 2013 9:52 PMReply

    'Argo' was "10% more dramatic" than the real story, huh? Really?

  • Jessica | May 9, 2013 7:19 PMReply

    @TED - The CIA's job is to protect the economic interests of the United States (the elite class, not the actual citizens) and to expand its empire. That's about it. It's pretty difficult to make a film glorifying those objectives (although I'm sure Ben Affleck could find a way). Oh, and you can save the rhetoric about "protecting the country from terror" for Homeland....

  • El Hanso | May 9, 2013 5:05 PMReply

    Fine, he's got a new film coming out, but why exactly are we even talking about Boll? It's the second Boll-related article here this week. Nobody cares anymore about Boll, about his political views even less. He turned from a hilariously bad director into a completely redundant "oh, yeah, the name sounds kinda familiar" kind of guy. Let's leave him behind and focus on stuff that matters. "Zero Dark Thirty" and its meaning matter. But we don't need Boll for that.

  • Ted | May 9, 2013 3:52 PMReply

    I'm with Daniel below me, who gives a shit what Uwe Boll thinks?

    Secondly, if he wants to believe Bin Laden died years ago - whatever. But he completely misread the Chastain character. She wasn't "sad" about the torture. She was uncomfortable, but was obviously willing to allow it because of her larger goals.

    I also just want to make a separate point and not specifically about ZDT or Argo. People claim these are pro-CIA movies, something I'm not going to dispute (though I think ZDT is a bit more complicated than that), and that this therefore makes them bad. But people seem to think nobody should ever make a pro-CIA movie. Can't we distinguish between an organization doing something good and celebrating everything they do? I can condemn the FBI for warrantless wire taps, but that doesn't mean I can't commend them when they capture a serial killer, right?

  • Zack | May 9, 2013 3:49 PMReply

    "She acts like she’s so sad about the whole torture, but completely goes with it."
    A morally conflicted character in a movie? WITCHCRAFT.

  • [A] | May 9, 2013 3:41 PMReply

    Listening to the guy, you understand the movies he makes.

  • Daniel | May 9, 2013 3:35 PMReply

    Who cares what Uwe Boll thinks?

  • yer | May 9, 2013 3:16 PMReply

    Nothing he said was particularly asinine or out there. Pretty sure I heard similar sentiments during awards season last year.

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