Swing Vote

Swing Vote

In Theatres: 
Aug 01, 2008
Running Time: 
1 Hour, 59 Minutes

If the presidential election was at a standstill and it was all up to your one vote, what would you do? How would you react to being the one person who would decide the course of the election? Granted the possibilities of this happening are extremely slim but Touchstone has decided to make a film about it.

Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner) is your average American. In fact he is below that; working at a local egg processing plant and practically getting drunk every night. The last thing on his mind is politics but that is what Molly (Madeline Carroll) is there for. Taking on the responsibility of the family, she is the one who cooks, cleans, and takes care of Bud. Come Election Day, she reminds him to vote yet when he doesn’t show up, she does it for him. When an electronic error occurs and “Bud’s” vote isn’t cast, the entire country is at a stand still while the fate of the election rests on the shoulders of this one man. Plagued by the media and both political parties, Bud must decide who he will vote for and hand the presidential chair to.

The film can be categorized into two genres. On one hand you have a comedy about a man who doesn’t care about the biggest decision of the country and just wants to have some fun while everyone around him is kissing his ass so they can get his vote. On the other hand, it goes much deeper with the relationship between Bud and his daughter Molly. Sure there are politics involved and current issues with today’s society are brought up but there are multiple views and opinions to take in, the strongest being Bud’s love for Molly. Madeline Carroll as the sweet and endearing child would make anyone want to be a part of her family. Her innocent yet opinionated views are an excellent contrast to the sloppy and disgraceful Bud. He is oddly familiar to almost every character Billy Bob Thorton has played. He’s a drunk who swears, stinks, and doesn’t care about it. Costner is not as extreme as Thorton but I can definitely see the resemblance.

Sadly, there wasn’t much meat to the film. Aside from a few hilarious political commercials (Pro-life anyone) I was struck with boredom. The acting was decent but with Dennis Hopper, Kelsey Grammer, and George Lopez there could have been more sustenance. It was mostly talk as one could expect from a movie such as this. It tries to reveal issues on character and such but it never fully materializes. Just as these issues are brought up, the scene changes and everything is lost, leaving you to imagine how things end up. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much out of this one and my prediction was verified. I wouldn’t waste a chance to see a good film on this one. If you must, wait for a cheap showing or even the DVD.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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