How Arnold Won the West DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 7.5
Video 8.0
Audio 8.0
Special Features   N/A
Total 7.5
Distributor: Shock
Running Time:
Classification:
 PG
Reviewer:
Brett Bowman

7.5


How Arnold Won the West

How Arnold Won The West centres on the recall election of 2003 that saw Arnold Schwarzenegger take the office of Governor of California from then Governor Gray Davis. It is fascinating to watch the election unfold; quickly becoming a circus filled with quirky colourful characters from porn stars to former child actors.

Almost from day one the election is depicted as a farce. Arnold and his advisors are true showmen, especially when juxtaposed with the pathetic campaign of Gray Davis and only viable female candidate Arianna Huffington. The quiet restraint of all the other campaigns only serves to show how extravagant and over the top Arnold’s own campaign is; complete with screaming crowds and an entourage of Arnold buses (each named after one of his films no less). The “Who Wants to be Governor of California” game show only furthers the idea that the entire election was nothing more than democracy gone wrong - especially when show against footage of Arnold’s participation in the “real” debate – where he uses movie persona to dismiss Huffington instead of answering actual political questions.

The role of the media in the campaign is interesting, many incidents of newspaper reporters requesting a one on one interview with Arnold fall of on deaf ears – he prefers to use television to further his campaign. With television Arnold is able to rely on his movie persona and presence to get attention, not having to worry about his political views and policies. Arnold is everywhere with Gray Davis represented as perhaps the most boring man around. Indeed Sharon Davis, Gray’s wife, has to introduce herself to people, they have no idea who she is; everyone knows who Arnold is.

There is an obvious bias present in the documentary, to the detriment of the film as a whole. Godfather theme music plays whenever the “viper king” Darrell Issa is shown on screen, linking him to shady dealings through the association with a recognizable theme for organized crime. Documentaries are meant to be impartial, to allow viewers to make up their own minds; unfortunately How Arnold Won the West makes your mind up for you – even if it does so entertainingly.






 
 



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