The film's first half breathlessly follows Webb as, from his desk at the San Jose Mercury in mid-90s California, he begins to pull at thread after thread and watches what had been counterculture rumour solidify into shocking, concrete fact. As we chase the story closer and closer to the halls of power, it is left to Michael Sheen, as the dispassionate, threateningly polite D.C. insider to let Webb know that he's in too deep, and that 'some stories are too true to tell'.
Once this warning goes unheeded, the film changes pace and focus, as pressure grows from all sides on Webb, not only by the sinister machinations of the Agency but from Webb's own brothers-in-arms and fellow journalists, as major news outlets clamour to cast doubt on the story rather than admit they missed a major scoop.
Whilst the film as a whole just about manages to do justice to its astounding source material, it is Renner who holds our attention, giving perhaps his best, certainly his most engrossing performance to date as a man of principle beset on all sides by insidious and threatening circumstance. A bold and voguish newsreel-montage style (you can tell the film shares its director, Michael Cuesta, with Homeland) only succeeds in jarring slightly with the more typical biopic elements of the screenplay, but Renner, and the sheer better-than-fiction quality of this remarkable tale make Kill the Messenger a worthwhile watch.
|What||Kill the Messenger|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
06 Mar 15 – 06 May 15, 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
|Website||Click here for more information|