Story: Rudy Guiliani (James Woods) had a long career in law before he was mayor of New York City, but his past was put out of mind once the events of 9/11 unfolded. As two planes crashed into the World Trade Center and changed the landscape of America forever, it was Guiliani who found himself at the center of the public eye. But before he was thrust into that spotlight, he tangled with organized crime, faced immense scrutiny for his policies, and ran afoul of even his close advisors, not to mention his less than ideal romantic interludes. He had faced down challenges in the past, but could Rudy manage to pull a city and perhaps even a nation together in the face of such a horrific tragedy?

Entertainment Value: Before he was Donald Trump’s heavily sweaty legal counsel, Rudy Guiliani had a colorful and high profile career in law and politics. This made for television movie tries to make the journey with Guiliani dramatic and powerful, but this feels like a cheap, rushed production. I don’t mind made for television movies and I actually appreciated the b movie elements here, but I can see how some might find it hokey or forced. Of course, Rudy’s fans and supporters will just glean the positives and ignore the rest, including the over the top performances and soap opera style segments, which were likely included to make Guiliani seem more interesting than he is. The movie entertains, with unintentional humor and the b movie vibes I mentioned before, but the pace is on the slow side, so this is no cult classic. But if you like awkward, unintentionally humorous biopics, this one certainly has some fun moments.

The main source of the entertainment is James Woods, who has much more charisma than Rudy could dream of, which gives the character an interesting vibe. This is like a dialed up version of Guiliani, especially when Woods tries to add gravitas to the role and it winds up as unintentional humor. You can tell Woods takes the role seriously and performs well, in his usual manner, but he was an odd choice for Guiliani. Which again, is why I think he was such a good choice and his presence really tunes up the rather weak dialogue as well, since Woods knows how to chew scenes. The more over the top or overly serious Woods is here, the more fun the movie is, though he can’t carry the entire picture. Even so, Woods is outlandish in Rudy and ends up as the primary reason to check it out. The cast also includes Penelope Ann Miller, Michelle Nolden, Mark Camacho, and John Bourgeois.

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