Arriving in the wake of our alleged national swing to the right, John Sayles' latest anti-con polemic already feels like a time capsule. How much joy can wounded Dems take in recognizing that Chris Cooper's character a lunkheaded candidate for governor of Colorado is a spot-on caricature of Dubya? To get our contrarian juices flowing again, we'd need a more inspiring rallying cry than this promising but inconsistent mystery about the evils of land development. While it has several moments of progressive pith, the movie succumbs to Sayles' usual pedantry, with characters spouting pages full of windy dialogue about the decline of America. The tendency to overdo is felt everywhere but in the casting: In the role of an underground-journo-turned-private-investigator, Danny Huston is supposed to ooze disillusionment. Instead, he's a goofy, grinning presence the opposite of the scarily slow-burning fiance he plays in Birth. Guess he was the wrong actor in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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