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March 20, 2006

Thank You For Smoking


Thank_you_for_smoking_ver5 Writer/director Jason Reitman tries to step outside of his father Ivan Reitman’s ("Ghostbusters") footsteps with a soft- peddled send-up of Big Tobacco — based on the novel by Christopher Buckley. Alternately infuriating and charming, Aaron Eckhart ("In The Company of Men") does contemptible honors as tobacco lobbyist and spin-doctor Nick Naylor. When Nick isn’t teaching his son the ins and outs of winning debates, or comparing death statistics over lunch with fellow "Merchants of Death," Nick is busy battling against an anti-smoking campaign to put a skull-and-crossbones on every cigarette pack. Snappy pacing and carefully sculpted set pieces don’t disguise the satire’s lack of teeth. Reitman’s inability to pay off on any of the film’s skeletal sub-plots leaves Aaron Eckhart holding the narrative bag. "Thank You For Smoking" is a satire that barks but never bites.

Rated R. 92 mins. (C) (Two Stars)




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