Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck play friends with benefits in State of Play.
Ayo! Scott looks after his friends. This past month alone, Ayo! helped his fellow film critic and broham Pelvis Mitchell dispose of four dead hookers, shared insider stock info with his apprentice Stephen Holdem and even fed Complex CSN host Joe La Puma's pet tigers while he was OT at detox, flushing out all the steroids he'd pumped into his calves. There's nothing Ayo! won't do for his dudes (short of lower back rubs). Of course, there's often a price to pay for loyalty, and director Kevin McDonald's State of Play, a new trimmed-down political thriller based on the 2003 BBC mini-series, warns of just that.
Old school newspaper reporter Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe) gets caught up in a conspiracy when his college roommate, Congressman Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck), is rocked by scandal following the suspicious death of his sidepiece. This tasty young redhead was not just new "p" for the promising politician but also happens to have been the lead researcher on his case against shady security contractors unleashing amoral mercenaries upon the world. While attempting to balance his professional responsibility to the truth and his loyalty to friends (which includes pleasuring Mrs. Collins), Cal finds himself ducking angry editors and dodging bullets (an average day at work for Ayo! but probably fresh and exciting for you).
Generally speaking, Ayo! doesn't cast his vote for twisting, turning political thrillers. Despite glossy production, they never seem to deliver enough brains (and you know Ayo! needs his daily dose of brains). State of Play is better than the average genre movie, though, thanks to crisp character studies from Crowe, as well as Rachel McAdams and Helen Mirren, who play the paper's political pulp blogger and head editor respectively. Furthermore, McDonald and this trio give viewers a glimpse at the inner workings of a dying newsroom and it feels momentous. After all, future generations will probably get their "news" from Twitter updates and never know the joy of getting ink on their stink while cranking it to escort ads. In a way, a newspaper is like a loyal friend who's got a terminal illness. Even though Ayo! is an established online presence—OK, Web genius—he has history with the crumpled page and will ride out for it like all his other potnas, until they're all dead and recycled. Check out the trailer here and see if State of Play shall get play from you.