Wednesday, November 9, 2016

One Joke Is Beaten Absolutely To Death In Donald Trump's The Art Of The Deal: The Movie

The Good: Acting is decent, Ron Howard's part is funny
The Bad: Not very funny, No real plot or character development
The Basics: Funny Or Die presented Donald Trump's The Art Of The Deal: The Movie in an attempt to expose Donald Trump as a raging egoist who is more bluster than substance and the film falls far short of ever being clever.

With the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency (I, naively, did not bother watching any of Trump's speeches during the Primary or the Campaign because I figured it was unlikely he would ever become President legally), I figured it was time to watch something about Donald Trump. Rather than go for the literal, I opted to begin with the satirical and tonight I'm taking in Donald Trump's The Art Of The Deal: The Movie. Donald Trump's The Art Of The Deal: The Movie is a fifty minute film that is a parody of the business book that was ghost written for Trump in the 1980s.

Unfortunately, Donald Trump's The Art Of The Deal: The Movie essentially makes one joke over and over again. In Donald Trump's The Art Of The Deal: The Movie, Donald Trump is a self-promoting racist who uses bluster to intimidate others into getting what he wants. Presented as a "found footage" video, Donald Trump's The Art Of The Deal: The Movie has an impressive cast that is woefully underused as they each perform shtick that does not develop beyond the initial premise.

Opening with Ron Howard introducing the never-before-seen television movie from the late 1980s based upon The Art Of The Deal, which was preempted when it was supposed to air and was thought-destroyed. Howard found the video at a garage sale and then plays it for the viewer. In the film, the child steals a copy of The Art Of The Deal and runs into Donald Trump's office. Trump then tells the boy his rules for making deals, amid personal anecdotes of how he made his earliest deals with money from his father and with fights from cultural historians in New York City. Accompanied by his generic Jewish lawyer Jerry Schrager and his Nazi architect Der Scutt, Donald Trump discusses with the ever-changing child how he acquired the Taj Mahal Casino from Merv Griffin.

Johnny Depp leads the cast of Donald Trump's The Art Of The Deal: The Movie as Donald Trump and he nods his head repeatedly and delivers the swagger for the character consistently. But Depp seems much more like he is playing a parody of a parody of Donald Trump, as opposed to mimicking Donald Trump and any specific mannerisms he has. Alfred Molina, Patton Oswalt, Ron Howard, Jack McBrayer, Michaela Watkins, Stephen Merchant and others back up Depp as parodies of people in Trump's life, which allow Depp to deliver lines that characterize the parody of Trump as racist, misogynistic, and stupid. That's fine, but there's no subtlety or finesse to Donald Trump's The Art Of The Deal: The Movie; the portrayal of Trump is never truly clever, so most of the supporting actors steal their respective scenes, even when they have minimal lines because Depp's Trump character has already gotten old within the narrative.

Ultimately, Donald Trump's The Art Of The Deal: The Movie was never going to sway anyone who was a supporter of Donald Trump, but the tragedy of the film is that it fails to entertain those who loathe Trump. The result is a fifty minute timesuck that disappoints.

For other satirical documentaries, please check out my reviews of:
Arrested Development
Talladega Nights: The Ricky Bobby Story


For other movie reviews, please check out my Film Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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