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Growing up in his congressman father's considerable shadow, Texan boy George W Bush (James Brolin) struggles to make his mark in the world. Fond of a good time and a drink or ten, young 'Dubya' is dismissed by George Bush Sr (James Cromwell) as a waster and a drunk. Seemingly incapable of holding down a job and prone to brushes with the law, young Dubya flubs his attempts at running an oil company and then a baseball team before settling on politics. Giving up alcohol and finding God, Bush confounds his critics by getting elected as Governor of Texas and, as his dad finishes his tenure as President, Bush the younger sets his sights on becoming the most powerful man in the world.
Following Bush from his early years right the way up to the major events of his Presidency, Stone paints an amusing, if superficially partisan, portrait of the muchmaligned President. Brolin gets Bush's wonky wordplay just right with the supporting cast rendering Bush's cronies as a grotesque gang of pantomime villains - in particular Thandie Newton's fraught rendition of Condoleezza Rice - although Jeffrey Wright is excellent as Colin Powell, the lone voice of dissent in the White House war room. While it may not offer any in-depth insight into the man and his unlikely rise to power, Oliver Stone's film is a diverting and highly watchable talking point that may not have the gravitas of his previous films like JFK and Nixon but certainly has a few more laughs.