Reviewer Slams SEAL Faux-Documentary Designed to Pump Support for Obama

Thursday, 01 Nov 2012 06:18 AM

 

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Navy SEALS and Harvey Weinstein have at least one thing in common: Great timing.

If it weren’t airing two nights before Election Day, National Geographic Channel’s passable, Weinstein-produced “SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden” would have come and gone with remarkable stealth.

Arriving two months before Kathryn Bigelow’s similarly themed big-screen “Zero Dark Thirty,” “SEAL” recounts the hunting and killing of the 9/11 mastermind.

Trailing better-told published accounts, “SEAL” snared publicity for its scheduling and the financial backing of producer, hype-master and Barack Obama supporter Weinstein.

A hodgepodge of historical re-enactment, faux-documentary noodling and snippets of Obama news footage, “SEAL” unashamedly accentuates the President’s leadership.

It feels as fresh as a two-year-old press conference.

Director John Stockwell (“Blue Crush”), with an uninspired script by Kendall Lampkin, relies on generic action music, ticking clock flourishes and recruitment-ad pathos to pump up emotion.

Score Settling

To move things along, characters, including Kathleen Robertson (so good on “Boss”) as a CIA official intent on settling America’s 9/11 score, occasionally speak directly to an off-camera interviewer.

“Being obsessed is like having a one-way affair,” she confides about her Bin Laden mission, sounding like a cut-rate Claire Danes. “It’s secret and you can’t stop thinking about him and you’re always alone, and you don’t know how it will end.”

The SEALs fare no better. The two main commandoes (Anson Mount and Cam Gigandet) bicker over some personal rivalry, a half-baked storyline that’s abandoned long before they reach Abbottabad.

“SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden” airs on National Geographic Channel on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. New York time. Rating: **

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