Burn After Reading

Have you seen the movie, Burn After Reading?


It’s the Coen Brother’s SAD attempt at another Fargo.

It has an all-star cast…John Malkovich, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, even Frances McDormand who won an Oscar for Fargo.  But Burn After Reading is just a convoluted mess of plot twists that are more boring than disturbing.

Osbourne Cox (Malkovich) is a CIA analysist that gets fired.  His wife (Swinton) is having an affair with a federal marshal named Harry (Clooney) who has an odd sex toy fetish which is never really explained.  Malkovich decides to write his memoirs.  His wife swipes the disk, thinking it’s his financials which her divorce lawyer has requested.  The lawyer’s secretary loses the disk at Hardbodies gym where a janiter discovers it and gives it to one of the bumbling Ken doll workers named Chad who is played by Brad Pitt. I have to give Pitt credit.  Seeing him playing the stupid gym jock was indeed hilarious.

Pitt and his coworker Linda (McDormand) think the information on the disk is top secret and plan to blackmail Cox.  Linda wants money to have some cosmetic surgery.  When Cox won’t cooperate, they take the disk to the Russian embassay.  In the meantime, Linda searches for love through internet dating and hooks up with Harry, who is being followed by a car that turns out to be a spy hired by a law agency sought out by his own wife.


Chad breaks into Cox’s house to find more information.  Harry comes in to take a shower and discovers Chad hiding in the closet and ends up shooting him.  The CIA retrieves Chad’s body after Harry dumps it in a river, but they burn his body to cover up whatever is going on.  But Harry goes crazy when Linda asks for his help in finding her missing friend, Chad.  Meanwhile, the Russians have told Linda the disk is nothing important.  Linda talks her boss into breaking into Cox’s house to find more information.  Cox discovers his wife wants a divorce and goes to his house only to discover the gym manager, who he shoots then chases out of the house and beats with a hatchet.  Sounds a lot like that infamous scene at the end of Fargo, doesn’t it? It’s all wrapped up at the end when the CIA are talking about covering up whatever the heck as happened and paying off Linda.  She’s agreed to keep quiet if they will pay for her surgery.

That’s it.

The premise is there.  At times, Pitt and McDormand were classic and funny, but the movie just lacked that true oddness that the characters all embraced in Fargo.  It just never got going.

Skip this one.

Rent House Bunny.  We watched it on News Years Day.

Blond bimbo gets kicked out of the Playboy mansion and becomes a house mother for a loser sorority, only to turn them around and make them popular.  Classic cheese!

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