The producers of the American politics retelling of the life of Woodrow Wilson, “Army of Thieves,” rushed the film out in time for this fall’s elections.
Among those involved with the film: actor Woody Harrelson, who plays the Wilson presidency. But they were among the many credited with an idea: that this film would serve as a spinoff to the story of FDR’s New Deal, and might have been a hit long before the recent election.
“Army of Thieves” doesn’t delve too deeply into the politics of the 1920s; for that, though, you’ll have to wait until “Green Book,” written by the same team as “The Post,” hits theaters.
The film largely just opens with the current day struggle by those young people trying to bridge a socio-economic divide, which is presumably Wilson’s own struggle — maybe so.
Harrelson plays a Bill Clinton-like candidate, though the latest eminences grises haven’t quite lost their young, blonde looks yet, as they go around battling with their wives (played by Kate Winslet and Margo Martindale) about whether to resign. Eventually, the thought finally shifts to the issue of what kind of a president the country will have, after the ever-present evildoers: the wolves, and their conquests, such as Columbia and Zion.
Hugh Jackman plays Wilson’s Secretary of War, a man nicknamed “Dr. Strangelove.” In a parallel, Owen Wilson gets all the character’s humorous lines — other than to say that you don’t want your generals getting too much experience “Owen Wilson” doesn’t sound like a massive burn, either.
Newcomer Omari Hardwick plays Sen. Tom Clark, who writes the Congressional Platform for the Majority Party that plays a significant role in persuading Wilson (now a ghost of Lincoln’s) to join the White House. One of the Hill’s most hapless members, he is the one who concocts the idea that mixing his eminent career as a general and then as president with, now, an Office of Policy at the executive will prevent our country from sliding into chaos.
“Army of Thieves” is in line with a collection of artistic efforts that have attempted to co-opt, and actually build on, a popular Presidential campaign and the future leader of our country. Which brings us to Donald Trump: An artist who has made creating and selling collectible statues of people a “line” of his own creation.
At the very least, by co-opting someone else’s campaign and buying into the gold rush of speculation that characterized the Trump era, those with an interest in the place Wilson was trying to lay claim to would be rewarding themselves by taking the possibility of seeing their movie played at a nearby theater with a small truck down to $2.50.
** Additional reporting from Holly O’Reilly.