Skip to main content


Knife Fight Review. Is it Worth Your Money?

Knife Fight Review
By: MattInRC

Does the Liberal-leaning Knife Fight engage the audience in the war that is a political campaign, or is it bound for a scandal of its own?

The political drama Knife Fight suggests that most campaigns are more like gladiatorial battles than efforts to serve the public good. Fraught with sexual scandals, drug use, and other missteps that can ruin even the toughest of people, the life of a politician is displayed as a thankless and even dangerous affair. Having run two city council campaigns myself, I'm not sure I agree with this assessment; and yet there is much about Knife Fight with which I can identify from my experiences. Unfortunately, the portrayals within are neither accurate nor inspiring, with a serious lean towards the Liberal viewpoint. In many ways, it's no better than this year's other political flop The Campaign.

Paul Turner (Rob Lowe, The West Wing series) is the best political strategist for hire: he can fix any problem, clean up any dirty candidate, and basically get any person elected. His romantic political view, that the right people in office can achieve great things, gets tested during two fierce campaigns: one involving Kentucky Governor Larry Becker (Eric McCormack, Free Enterprise), and the other for a California Senator (David Harbour, Quantum of Solace). In both cases, their opponents are characterized as undeserving Republican goon-like slugs that under normal circumstances couldn't get elected out of a brown paper bag. But when sexual scandals hit Turner's camps, he shifts things into overdrive, creating a series of smear campaigns that ultimately spell election night victories for his clients. Nestled in between these plots is another involving an unknown medical clinic doctor (Carrie-Anne Moss, The Matrix series) and her desire to become California's newest Governor; she chips away at Turner's marble-slabbed negativity until he agrees to sign on. He worries that she will be ruined by the political machine if she steps foot into the ring, but Penelope is undeterred. The result is a predestined and empty-feeling victory in Act 3 that felt all too easy compared to Turner's other clients.

The problem here is that nothing feels real, and what appears to be mocking leaves us with little to laugh at, representative more of television melodrama than worthy film candidate. Even the digital film itself looks like television, as if Director/Co-Writer Bill Guttentag (You Don't Have to Die) built this in a couple of weekends using the off-time schedules of its actors. The only real enjoyment I received was watching the banter between Lowe and fellow West Wing alum Richard Schiff as Turner's mud diver. Their scenes are polished to near perfection, as if the screen lit up each time they appeared. I would love to see these two featured in a political dramedy, matched up with Turner's girlfriend the television anchor Peaches (Julie Bowen, Happy Gilmore). Lowe's scenes with her are unexpectedly funny, especially during one of their sexual escapades. Other than that, many of the performances are flat, with Guttentag's and Co-Writer Chris Lehane's script limping along with too many 'I could have done this better' moments. Someone must high up have liked this film, as it was shown at the 2012 Democratic Nominating Caucus - perhaps it was the political consultant Lehane getting his foot in the door - so in that context I can imagine why it might have reached viewers. In a dark theater far away from the election season, moviegoers might find themselves falling asleep at points.  

Knife Fight neither accurately displays the rigors of a real campaign, nor features any performance you need to see. My suggestion is to save your money and wait for a Lowe/Schiff campaign down the road. It's rated R for nudity and language and has a runtime of 99 minutes.

Please Leave A Comment-


Popular posts from this blog

Morbius: The Living Vampire Film In The Works

The Spider spin-offs keep on coming! With Venom now shooting, an even more obscure character from the web-slinger's extensive comicbook past has now been unearthed, with plans for a movie. Power Rangers writing duo Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless are in talks to craft the script for Morbius: The Living Vampire.

Sony is pushing ahead with another potential Spider-movie, which, like Venom, is unlikely to be linked to the MCU. What it will boast, however, is the story of Michael Morbius, a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist who tries to cure a rare blood disease using an experimental treatment that combines electroshock therapy and vampire bats. The results are predictably catastrophic, and he's transformed into... well, the title should be a clue. He has some of the traditional vampiric qualities – he ingests blood to live, and conversely is not fond of bright light. He can fly, has superhuman strength and healing capabilities. When he bites victims and drinks their blood, his attac…

Enter For A Chance To Win A Family Four Pack To See COCO In Minnesota

© 2017 Disney/Pixar Enter for your chance to win a family four pack to see COCO in Minnesota on November 15th at 7:30PM.

In Disney•Pixar’s “Coco,” aspiring musician Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) teams up with charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal) on an extraordinary journey through the Land of the Dead.

In theatres November 22!


Facebook: /PixarCoco
Twitter: @pixarcoco
Hashtag: #PixarCoco

While supplies last. Once all allotted passes are redeemed, the code will no longer be valid. Supplies are limited.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Limit one (1) admit-two pass per person. This film is rated PG. Must be 13 years of age or older to win passes. Employees of all promotional partners and their agencies are not eligible. Void where prohibited. Entries must be received by [12:00PM], [11-19-2017] to be eligible to receive pass. Winners will be contacted via e-mail to receive their pass. Sponsors not responsible for…

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See DARKEST HOUR In Dallas

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See DARKEST HOUR on December 5th at 7:00 PM in Dallas

During the early days of World War II, with the fall of France imminent, Britain faces its darkest hour as the threat of invasion looms. As the seemingly unstoppable Nazi forces advance, and with the Allied army cornered on the beaches of Dunkirk, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the leadership of the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman). While maneuvering around his political rivals, he must confront the ultimate choice: negotiate with Hitler and save the British people at a terrible cost or rally the nation and fight on against incredible odds. Directed by Joe Wright, DARKEST HOUR is the dramatic and inspiring story of four weeks in 1940 during which Churchill’s courage to lead changed the course of world history.