Are Snakes Necessary?
The 2016 reelection campaign of Sen. Lee Rogers of Pennsylvania, a philandering scoundrel, drives this disappointing political thriller from filmmaker De Palma and former New York Times
editor Lehman. At a chance encounter with a former flame, Jenny Cours, Rogers meets her 18-year-old daughter, Fanny, who’s a political junkie eager to help his campaign. Known as the Hunk of the Hill on Capitol Hill, Rogers agrees to hire Fanny, who’s “in the full flush of carnality,” as a videographer. He soon lures her into his bed. Their relationship proves dangerous for Rogers after Fanny vanishes, and Jenny’s persistent search for her daughter places the politician in law enforcement’s crosshairs. A subplot involving a remake of the Hitchcock film Vertigo
set at the Eiffel Tower sets the stage for a risible climax. The predictable and tired plot twists aren’t helped by the authors’ portrayal of present-day politics as if the 2016 presidential campaign never happened. This would have worked better as an intentional parody of the genre. (Mar.)