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Running with Arnold (2006)

4.3
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Ratings: 4.3/10 from 225 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 8 critic

A documentary on Arnold Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial campaign in California.

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Title: Running with Arnold (2006)

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A documentary on Arnold Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial campaign in California.

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October 2006 (USA)  »

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A crude hatchet job. Not worth your time, even if you hate Schwarzenegger.
12 November 2009 | by (Nebraska, United States) – See all my reviews

My expectation of this documentary was that it would cover Arnold Schwarzenegger's run for governor, or political career in traditional "fly on the wall" style.

This was not the case, which would be perfectly all right, but for the fact that this so called 'documentary' doesn't actually appear to have any original research put into it at all. A better title would be 'A Tabloid History of Arnold" with the movie (if I can call it that) being laid out not in the order that the events took place, but rather, being shown in the order that unflattering material was brought to light in the press.

I suppose that it is possible that the revelations are revealed in true documentary style, in the order that the maker found them, but if this is the case, then this film is a history by the California Democratic Party's opposition research department. In fact, the 'documentary' is narrated and constructed like one long and painfully drawn out political ad, and the perspective laid out is so limited and blatantly political that the hyperbole is occasionally the most interesting/amusing thing about it. My favorite narrator quote: "Unlike today, back at the turn of the century (meaning the late 1890's & early 1900's), the 'Golden State' was swimming in corruption".

It isn't necessary to have even the slightest amount of sympathy for Schwarzenegger to be annoyed by this silly production. The omnipotent narrator rants and rants, and even a series of weirdly irrelevant 'talking head' quotes by comedians cannot inject life into this dull and pedantic piece.

Needless to say, the film is not really fair to Arnold, suggesting for example that the only reason that he would oppose banning nutritional supplements was that the makers of some of them advertised in bodybuilding magazines that he edits (as if you could find any bodybuilder who is opposed to nutritional supplements) but bias is by no means the most important criticism of this film.

A highly opinionated documentary can be a good thing, but this is an unoriginal and crude bit of political hackery, and nothing more. It is quite possible that the majority of criticisms in this production are factually true, if for no other reason than that it appears that the filmmakers actually discovered none of them, but any facts found in this film are so smothered in crude invective that its hard to rely on this film for either information or entertainment.


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