Director: Jay Roach
Cast: Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie
Release Date: March 10, 2020
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Academy Award® winners Charlize Theron (Monster, Best Actress, 2003) and Nicole Kidman (The Hours, Best Actress, 2002) and Academy Award® nominees Margot Robbie (I, Tonya, Best Actress, 2017) and John Lithgow (Terms of Endearment, Best Supporting Actor, 1983) deliver tour-de-force performances in this provocative real story of three whip-smart, ambitious, strong women who anchored one of America’s most powerful news networks—becoming headlines themselves when they risked everything to stand up to the man who made them famous.
Based on the powerful true story, ‘Bombshell’ follows the events revolving around the scandal at Fox News a few years ago that rocked the infamous news channel. The film follows three women working at the news conglomerate with their own painful stories of mistreatment at different times in the company’s history and the chaos that ensues within the company itself after one ex-employee comes forward with claims of sexual harassment by men in charge. As her act becomes widely spread, it soon leads to multiple other women who have been wronged revealing their own similar experiences by specific men at the powerful news channel. As the highest ups at the company evaluate their options, another currently employed woman with her own dark past behind the locked doors of her boss who could be the final nail in the coffin contemplates whether she should come forward and what the cost could be for others if she doesn’t.
Directed by Jay Roach (Trumbo, Meet The Parents) from a screenplay written by Charles Randolph (The Big Short), Roach does a great job at the helm of ‘Bombshell’ guiding along this true tale with care and nicely balancing the more unpleasant elements with hints of comedy without ever detracting from the importance within. The film also benefits tremendously from a cast that’s filled with talented individuals, including Charlize Theron (Long Shot), Nicole Kidman (The Goldfinch), Margot Robbie (Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood), John Lithgow (Pet Sematary 2019), Kate McKinnon (Yesterday), Connie Britton (The Mustang), Allison Janney (I, Tonya) and Malcolm McDowell (31) along with many more, nearly all offering solid and in many cases exceptional performances in each of their respective roles and therefore really helping this powerful tale to work so well.
‘Bombshell’ is smartly crafted, often tense and at times quite funny; an altogether engaging true story that isn’t always be easy to watch (something that’s probably quite obvious merely because of the subject matter it tackles) but it’s far from a bleak and miserable experience too. Managing to find a middle ground that does justice to the unpleasant events it covers while still able to let some laughs and fun moments slip through in between without them ever detracting from those elements that should not be ignored or disregarded; much of the unpleasantness also balanced by rewarding results or moments in many instances and it all comes together better than you’d expect, crafting a film that’s as important as it is enjoyable yet never at the expense of the story and message it conveys. Director Jay Roach does a more than capable job guiding along the film and his strong work at the helm is tremendously complimented by a powerful cast led by talented performances from leads Theron, Kidman and Robbie and the end result is a pretty great film that shouldn’t have any trouble promptly grabbing your attention and easily holding onto it for its duration. I would strongly encourage fans of the talented cast members along with anyone that has even a mild interest in this one to try and check it out whenever possible.
Overall, ‘Bombshell’ is for the most part a rather great film that does a fantastic job of capturing this true tale in a fitting manner that allows some fun to balance the more unpleasant yet undeniably necessary aspects within this important true story; all benefiting every step of the way from the guidance of director Jay Roach and a stellar cast led by strong performances from its talented leads. ‘Bombshell’ is definitely recommended. It’s a powerful, often unsettling yet equally rewarding tale of multiple women fighting for justice against all odds. For anyone already even the slightest bit intrigued by the film as well as fans of any or all of the three talented actresses at the forefront, ‘Bombshell’ should easily prove well worth a couple hours of your time and the price of a rental if nothing else.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Bombshell’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic as a whole and provides a clean, sharp and richly detailed presentation from start to finish with no noticeable faults or issues to be uncovered along the way. It holds up smoothly even during the heavily populated and few somewhat darker sequences, never causing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a solid high definition video presentation from Lionsgate that shouldn’t have any trouble pleasing fans and first time viewers alike.
In a somewhat strange move from Lionsgate, the Blu-ray release of ‘Bombshell’ doesn’t feature a lossless audio presentation like most of their releases, instead only offering a lossy 5.1 channel 640kpbs Dolby Digital soundtrack on this one. Fortunately, this Dolby Digital soundtrack still does a generally solid and capable job and delivers a smooth, sharp and overall nice audio presentation throughout. It frequently takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send music, crowd chatter in the newsrooms and plenty more throughout the various speakers whenever it’s appropriate and never allowing any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, even while disappointing to see the absence of any lossless audio options on the release, this 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack still does a nice job and delivers in every way required of it.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Bombshell’ includes one noteworthy extra although it’s quite an impressive one that fans of the film should thoroughly appreciate. Included on the release is the multi-part Behind the Scenes Documentary ‘No Easy Truths: The Making of Bombshell’ (running approximately 94 minutes in length) which takes an in-depth look at bringing the film to life and includes interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The film’s ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (running approximately 2 minutes) is also included.