Hey, remember this guy? What a piece of shit!
Alison Klayman’s fly-on-the-wall doc The Brink follows Bannon from 2017 to 2018, after Donald Trump, who lost the popular election by 2,864,974 votes, renamed him “Sloppy Steve” and booted him from the White House. Undeterred (and insisting he didn’t even like working in the White House anyway), Bannon embarks on a worldwide tour to, as he explains to Brexit bullshitter Nigel Farage, “knit together this populist/nationalist movement throughout the world.” “It’s a global revolt,” Bannon proclaims. “We’re on the right side of history.”
That “right side of history” involves backing alleged pedophile Roy Moore; advising white-nationalist plutocrats; reflecting on Torchbearer, the “God is real” documentary he made with Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson (they shot at Auschwitz!); chugging Red Bull; and holding court in conference rooms crammed with rich, cheering, sycophantic racists.
Bannon does his usual weird, gross schtick—dog whistles! conspiracy theories! wearing multiple button-up shirts at the same time!—but the most interesting things in The Brink are his unexpected gregariousness and his even-more-unexpected self-consciousness: He tries, and fails, to laugh off what people say about his face. Even as he admits they hurt his brand, he loves kombucha and gilded hotel suites. Beneath Bannon’s cruel, backwards, bigoted bluster, Klayman finds glimpses of a guy who who knows he’s hated but just can’t stop being intensely hateable: “I came off okay? I didn’t come off as an asshole?” Bannon worries after a Good Morning Britain taping—a taping in which he did, in fact, come off as an asshole.
The Brink opens Fri April 5 at the Hollywood Theatre. Read more of the Mercury's award-winning* coverage of movies and TV!
*not actually award-winning