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The Crooked E: The Unshredded Truth About Enron (2003)

 
 

Unshredded Cliches

There are no limits at Enron only the ones you put on yourself - Mr. Blue

Christian Kane in The Crooked E: The Unshredded Truth About Enron (2003)

"The Crooked E: The Unshredded Truth About Enron" to give it its full and semi clever title is not a movie about Enron or not the movie about Enron it should have been. Based on a book written by Brian Cruver's who worked for Enron it tries to give us an employee's eye look at what went on in the company which lead to its collapse but it relies on too many "greed is good" cliches to feel like a true exposé and then when it gets round to the actual collapse it doesn't give it the time or attention to make it understandable. What that means is that whilst "The Crooked E" is an entertaining "Greed is Good" movie with some typical flaws associated with TV movies it is not a detailed look at Enron.

Ever since Mr. Blue (Brian Dennehy - FX2 - The Deadly Art Of Illusion) gave him some advice as a young boy Brian Cruver (Christian Kane - Just Married) was determined to grab life by the balls and make something of himself. Many years later and with Courtney (Shannon Elizabeth - American Pie 2) his attractive girlfriend by his side it seems that Brian's going to get what he wants when he gets a job at Enron. Initially intimidated by his go getting colleague's with their great sales patter and flash life style Brian struggles but soon becomes energised as he once again grabs life by the balls. But it comes at a cost as his devotion to work and creating the perception of being a success causes a wedge between him and Courtney. But that is not the worst of it as the financial miss goings on at Enron are uncovered leading to the collapse of the company.

Shannon Elizabeth and Christian Kane in The Crooked E: The Unshredded Truth About Enron (2003)

As I said "The Crooked E" is not the movie about Enron it could have been especially during the first half as we are fed one cliche after another. We get the innocent good guy, the fish out of water who becomes addicted to success, to land the big deal to the detriment of his relationship to his girlfriend. It is incredibly cliche and I can think of several other movies which throw us into the world of go getting young people and do a much better job of it than this. In fairness it does try to show us what was going on in Enron as in showing the way of life within the corporate walls but it does seem incredibly over the top the way the company operated.

The thing is that the entire first half of "The Crooked E" is dominated by this cliche go getting storyline and then come the second half it tries to switch the focus to the actual collapse. The thing is that it does so in a way which seems to play to those who already know the details and don't need them explaining. What this means is that for those who don't know what happened, didn't live through it in America it is not exactly clear as to what was going on.

What that means is that "The Crooked E" rather than being informative is more entertainment based, all about the lure of the dark side of corporate greed and making a name for yourself. As such Christian Kane as Brian Cruver is well cast because he does go getting but pulls of nice guy as well although as with many of the characterisations he does at times become too over the top. Maybe the people within Enron were over the top cliches as portrayed in the movie but it seems false to me but in a strangely entertainingly corny sort of way.

What this all boils down to "The Crooked E: The Unshredded Truth About Enron" is more the old as time storyline of a young man who gets seduced by corporate greed rather than an insightful look at the collapse of Enron. But taken as such it is moderately entertaining, a bit too over the top but still enjoyable.

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