The movie that conservative audiences have been waiting for is here. And by that I don’t just mean that yesterday was the eagerly-anticipated premiere of My Son Hunter, the Robert Davi-directed dark comedy about Joe Biden’s wayward son and his laptop from hell. I mean that this is the political film that finally sets a new bar for conservative filmmaking, far above the heavy-handed messaging and awkward acting that right-leaning audiences have generally had to settle for in the recent past.
You have never seen a conservative film quite like this. Produced by Phelim McAleer and Anne McIlhenny (FrackNation, Gosnell, The Obamagate Movie) and written by screenwriter/novelist Brian Godawa (To End All Wars, The Obamagate Movie), My Son Hunter careens – like a drunken Hunter himself – from comedy to tragedy, from family drama to high-level political corruption, from moral brokenness to moral courage. Surprising stylistic quirks abound, including word balloons onscreen and characters breaking the “fourth wall” to address the audience directly. And yes, just like Hunter’s life, there is an almost nonstop parade of hookers, drugs, and shady deals – hence the R rating that sadly may discourage some conservative moviegoers (Movieguide gives My Son Hunter an “Excellent” rating but advises “extreme caution” due to “immoral carnal behavior, images of women in skimpy outfits, and strong foul language”). The Daily Mail reported overhearing one viewer at a private screening describing the film as “Not your mother's conservative movie.”
The plot centers on Teflon Addict Hunter Biden, played by British actor Laurence Fox (Gosford Park, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, The Frankenstein Chronicles), and his terrified realization that the personal laptop he carelessly forgot to pick up from a repair shop could derail his father’s presidential campaign. A hooker who has captured Hunter’s heart offers to help him spin the publicity, but in order to do that, she needs to know all the potentially damaging material on that computer. As the sordid contents reveal the depth and breadth of Biden family corruption, the hooker comes to a slow political revelation.
But the real emotional core of the film is the strained relationship between needy, hapless Hunter, who craves his father’s love and respect, and resentful Joe, played by John James, who is best-known for TV performances in ‘80s TV like Dynasty and The Colbys. The two give outstanding performances: Fox is Hunter Biden, perhaps more so than Hunter himself, and James manages to convey the elder Biden’s emotional coldness, creepiness, corruption, and encroaching dementia without once going over the top. Their interaction makes for the most compelling moments in the film, both comic and tragic.
Conservatives will appreciate that My Son Hunter begins by slamming the complicit news media, which originally dismissed the laptop controversy as “Russian disinformation” and a right-wing conspiracy theory. We are treated to the hilarious re-creation of a Rachel Maddow lookalike whitewashing a violent Black Lives Matter protest as “mostly peaceful” while ginning up outrage over Donald Trump’s latest tweet.
They will also appreciate that screenwriter Brian Godawa laces his script with mental hiccups from Joe Biden, such as when he claims he spent 120 years in the Senate, confuses Hillary Clinton’s campaign slogan #ImWithHer with the #MeToo movement hashtag, and worries that revelations about Hunter’s laptop contents will ruin his “erection” chances in 2020. These lines are all the funnier because actor John James delivers them with a deadpan obliviousness.
Godawa told Daily Mail that his “goal in writing My Son Hunter was to tell a fictional story about Hunter and a stripper in order to provide a creative portal through which to handle an overwhelming amount of facts about the Biden family corruption.
“My standard,” he continued, “was that even the fictional elements would be based on the real reported lifestyle of Hunter with dancers, prostitutes, drugs and the addictive personality. This movie's stripper may be fictional, but she represents many of Hunter's real life experiences with strippers, even falling in love with some of them, as he does in the movie.”
He added that he “drew dialogue from actual incidents or documents, transcripts or emails reported in the media as the base language of Hunter and Joe’s characters, many of them actual quoted lines. And many of them were taken from Hunter’s actual emails from his laptop. I drew from Hunter’s eulogy for his brother Beau for his own description of his relationship in the movie.”
Reviews predictably have been split along ideological lines: the Left-dominated media hate it, and the few conservative alternatives love it. Hot Air called it a “fun, irreverent romp.” Movieguide wrote that it is “extremely well-directed, written and acted, with some crazy, funny moments and high drama.” An otherwise dismissive review at the far-Left Daily Beast correctly admits that My Son Hunter “probably the best conservative movie to emerge from the right-wing media in recent memory.” A reviewer at Britain’s left-wing The Independent trashed the movie but grudgingly conceded, “Several times, the film had me rushing to Google, where I discovered that this or that piece of unflattering Biden trivia was in fact rooted in truth.”
Reviewers’ political bias aside, My Son Hunter manages to be both wildly entertaining and deeply affecting, often in the same scene; again, you can largely credit Laurence Fox’s extraordinary performance and Godawa’s deft screenwriting for that.
Casting Fox as the debauched Hunter was a fortuitous stroke of genius. An accomplished actor known as an outspoken champion of free speech and anti-wokeness, he even founded the Reclaim Party in the U.K. and ran for mayor of London last year. Discussing the film on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Fox joked about being grateful he hasn’t been “Jeffrey Epsteined” by Cancel Culture fanatics for appearing in the movie, then added, “The most important thing actually is that the film is watched by the remaining sane Democrats as well because these conversations are the ones that are the things that change culture.
“Back in the day this film would have been made by Oliver Stone,” he continued. “It wouldn’t have been down to small, independent filmmakers to make it. Hollywood would have lapped it up. It shows how badly Hollywood has been corrupted by the woke ideology, that they won’t go anywhere near this. Along with the FBI.”
And that is why conservatives need more films like My Son Hunter – indeed, that is why America needs more films like this. The left’s stranglehold on popular culture must be broken.
From FrontPage Mag, 9/8/22