Blu-ray Review: Affairs of State (2018)

By , Contributor
Arriving on Blu-ray via Lionsgate on August 14, Affairs of State is a low-brow political thriller starring David Corenswet. Who's that? Imagine a cross between Andrew Garfield and Topher Grace and you have a good start. To be fair, the otherwise dishwater-dull Affairs is somewhat enlivened by Corenswet's nasty little turn as Washington, D.C. aide Michael Lawson. He'll sleep with anyone who might advance his career, including Judith (Mimi Rogers)—wife of Senator John Baines (David James Elliott).

Affairs charts the ladder-climbing attempts of a soulless political shark. In addition to Mimi Rogers, viewers of at least a certain age will recognize Thora Birch (Harrison Ford's daughter in Patriot Games, Kevin Spacey's daughter in American Beauty) as anti-establishment hacker Callie, working in conjunction with Lawson. Together they collect illicitly-recorded video footage of various dignitaries caught in compromising situations, using them to their advantage when possible. A difference in ethics leads to a deepening rift between Callie and Lawson. Meanwhile, the Senator's daughter Darcy (Grace Victoria Cox) becomes a unwitting participant in a growing web of lies after she falls for Lawson.

None of this soap opera-ish stuff ever gels into the satisfying guilty pleasure it might've been. Director Eric Bross and screenwriter Tom Cudworth seem intent on drawing some sort of parallel between their characters' misdeeds and the real-life political landscape. "Politics as usual" it states on the Blu-ray box, and if you typically find politics generally kind of boring then it's one accurate tagline.

The Blu-ray includes some uninteresting deleted scenes and a commentary track by director Bross and producer Stephen Israel. One final note: Entourage fans might want to check this out for Adrian Grenier's supporting turn as Lawson's political rival Rob Reynolds.
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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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