If you have seen the fantastic BBC miniseries of State of Play, you’ll understand that the film had quite a bit to live up to. How could they squeeze a cracking 6 hours of drama in a 2 hours film. And worse – how could they (I mean how could they!) replace a British cast with the likes of Bill (Bafta winning for his turn as editor Cameron Foster) Nighy, Kelly McDonald, James McAvoy, John Simm and David Morrisey with people like Ben Affleck, Russell Crowe and have Helen Mirren taking over the role of editor?
I went to see it with the intention not to like it, I didn’t quite succeed.
The story line is simular to the one in the miniseries, but has been adjusted to a story set in the US. It does feel cramped though, and I wondered, if I hadn’t seen the miniseries, would I actually get what it is all about.
OK, I admit it, Russel Crowe wasn’t bad as Cal McAffrey, and he worked very well with Rachel McAdam’s Della, the blog journalist turning into his assistant.
Helen Mirren’s performance felt staged and was suffering from too little screen time. Also – there was no way she was going to outclass Bill.
All in all the story was still gripping and it was entertaining enough to watch but if you liked the film just a little bit I really urge you to see the BBC miniseries, because they are so much better.