“Are you positive you wish to watch this?”
That’s a line mentioned by one character to a different midway via the primary episode of The Comey Rule, but it surely might simply as simply work as a query to the viewers.
Are you positive you wish to watch a dramatisation of occasions so mentally exhausting and up to date it hasn’t but resolved itself?
With the US election just a few weeks away, you possibly can argue that The Comey Rule is a well timed miniseries that explores the dynamic between former FBI Director James Comey (Jeff Daniels) and Donald Trump (Brendan Gleeson).
Written and directed by Billy Ray (screenwriter on Richard Jewell, State of Play remake), The Comey Rule is a strong political drama with some nice key performances and good pacing, even when it’s susceptible to over-earnestness or aggrandisement of Comey’s function.
However it additionally performs like a horror film in your deepest sleep, besides you possibly can’t get up from it. There is no such thing as a launch, solely a gut-churning reminder that it’s a nightmare we’re all nonetheless residing via.
Does that make for an pleasant three-and-a-half hours, re-treading acquainted floor that has splashed round each world information outlet for the previous 5 years? No, probably not. Except you’re a glutton for punishment, by which case, have at it.
Primarily based on Comey’s guide, A Increased Loyalty, the story kicks off with the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation within the run-up to the 2016 presidential election and the blow-out from Comey’s unprecedented option to publicly announce it had reopened the file 12 days earlier than the election.
That’s the idea of the primary episode, which paints Comey as a devoted public servant compelled by circumstance right into a tough alternative. There are many individuals who will disagree with that interpretation, individuals who consider Comey’s breach of protocol was tantamount to election interference.
Casting somebody with the gravitas of Daniels makes Comey the hero, albeit a flawed one who was maybe too staunch to what he calls his loyalty to the establishment of the FBI, undone by his personal lack of political instincts within the face of a president who has no concern for the rule of regulation.
The place there’s a hero, you want a villain. And Trump makes for the right TV villain – a fantastic character whose self-absorption is so outlandish and ludicrous he looks as if an individual solely a Hollywood author might dream up. That he’s an actual individual, properly, the world is coping with that proper now.
Gleeson’s Trump – whose stream of consciousness verbiage, aggressive sniffing and singular concentrate on his personal victimhood is performed with triggering accuracy – solely actually comes into the collection within the second episode.
It’s a extremely efficient portrayal, and Ray and director of images Elliot Davis makes use of the digital camera to spotlight Trump’s rot, from excessive close-ups to angling up on him as he bodily intimidates Rod Rosenstein (Scoot McNairy).
It’s additionally one of many the reason why you could not wish to dive into The Comey Rule.
There are a lot of acquainted faces taking part in acquainted faces – T.R. Knight as Reince Priebus, Peter Coyote as Robert Mueller, Holly Hunter as Sally Yates, William Sadler as Michael Flynn, Jonathan Banks as James Clapper and Michael Kelly as Andrew McCabe.
The casting principally works however essentially the most evident side of the gathering of those folks is that none of them – apart from Trump – are nonetheless of their roles lower than a handful of years later.
There are many causes to not watch The Comey Rule however are there any causes to take action, masochism apart?
That’s the query on the coronary heart of the collection. Anybody with a passing curiosity will probably be conversant in all these story beats, and The Comey Rule doesn’t let you know something you don’t already know.
We all know Trump lies with abandon, we all know his administration is dysfunctional and we all know he values private loyalty above the regulation.
The Comey Rule simply does it with a dramatic rating and desaturated visuals.
If the worldwide stakes of the upcoming US election nonetheless aren’t clear, then maybe there may be one scene that might elucidate issues – not that it’s going to do a lot to sway Trump defenders.
In a single sequence within the second episode, the place a gaggle of intelligence, navy and regulation enforcement heads are gathered to debate Russian interference within the 2016 election, one in all them asks, “to what finish, why would Russia need Trump put in?”.
The solutions vary from Arctic drilling, Turkish incursion towards the Kurds, the top of the Iran nuclear deal and so many extra – all issues which have come to cross.
However what appears to be Russian President Vladimir Putin’s final goal appears to be to sow discord and hyper-partisanship within the US and to undermine the very foundations and establishments that uphold democracy itself.
What does anybody assume is going on within the US proper now?
The Comey Rule begins streaming on Stan as we speak, with the second episode obtainable tomorrow