Burris' performance was nonetheless mixed. While his feigned ignorance regarding alleged past donations to Blagojevich was fairly impressive, his "I-sort-of-realize-this-situation-is-preposterous" smirk betrayed some underlying sense of propriety that was distractingly incongruous with the rest of the production. Also, he presided over the Q&A scene like a schoolchild doing his best impression of how he imagined adults might interact with the press. He would have benefited immensely from some expert direction on this front. ("Just cut them off and say, 'don't waste your question,' then move on"). Speaking of the press, the Chicago media did an exceptional job of roping Blagojevich back into the fray, despite his original intention to avoid questions. Audiences were undoubtedly grateful for the chance to see this master once again in his element. Who knew Blagojevich could so effortlessly transition into improv?
Just when you thought the plot had reached its climax and the credits were about to roll, an extended cameo by Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL) stole the show. Rush's exquisite portrayal of an aging machine politician clinging to the last vestiges of his favored brand of racial politics was matched only by the unexpected nature of his appearance. Without forewarning, Rush meandered to the podium from the back of the room, compelled to speak on behalf of his embattled friend, Burris. He lit up the screen by casting opponents of Burris' appointment to the US Senate as a lynch mob—a bold choice, even for Rush. His subsequent challenge to the entire Senate, daring any member to obstruct Burris' path to the Upper Chamber, added another dramatic wrinkle to the plot while inviting the potential for even more characters to join the fracas before all is said and done.
Fortunately for fans of the first installment, Rush's challenge and Blagojevich's intractability heavily indicate that an undetermined number of sequels are already in the works. Blagojevich's attorney agent has been fairly tight-lipped about his client's future plans (a rival studio, Fitzgerald Pictures, is also said to be pursuing the rising star), but audiences can rest assured that this series is far from over.
Is that laughter I hear...or the sweet sound of Oscar buzz? At the very least, this film deserves some consideration for Best Hair and Makeup.
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