capsule review

I never thought I would find myself bored during a rugby film directed by Clint Eastwood, but I was. The problem is, Invictus is not a rugby film. Or is it? I don’t think it knows what it is. It’s half political drama, and half character study, with some rugby thrown in. But none of these gears grind together enough to make a well-oiled machine. The parts move too slowly and the film only picks up when Matt Damon walks into it with his tight shorts and nifty accent. Not that Morgan Freeman doesn’t play Nelson Mandela well (he does), it’s just that he’s not given much to do except be Nelson Mandela. There’s not a lot that Mandela does and that’s the problem. The action of this film doesn’t come until the last 20 minutes (when the tight shorts get to playing) and that’s a long time to wait, through talking and voiceovers and scenic panning shots. It might help if we actually learn who people are and why they are doing what they are doing, but we don’t. This is one of those films where we are told things instead of shown things. I hate those kinds of movies. And I really didn’t like Invictus.