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I used to think I liked Doug Liman. Then Paul Greengrass took over the Bourne franchise and I realized, oh, that’s what was missing. Doug Liman’s a competent enough director, but I doubt he’ll ever be more than competent. Which raises the question: What the hell is Sean Penn doing in Liman’s new movie, Fair Game? The trailer’s below and when you watch it, you’ll probably think it’s a paint by numbers thriller. Sean Penn takes this acting thing seriously. Sean Penn doesn’t normally do paint by numbers movies. Unless… that paint by numbers movie happens to connect with his wildly left-leaning politics. Fair Game is just such a movie.

It’s based on the real life memoirs of Valerie Plame, the CIA agent outed by Bush White House officials 2003. Allegedly the Bush White House blew her cover to discredit the work of her husband, who wrote a New York Times op-ed piece in which he revealed that the Bush administration fudged intelligence about weapons of mass destruction. Yep, that old thing. We’re just never going to get past it.

So here’s the trailer for Fair Game. Watch it below or watch it in high-res on Yahoo. I’ll see you afteward for random and generally irresponsible discussion of what we’ve just watched.

If you’ve seen one Doug Liman trailer you’ve seen them all. This definitely feels like a Liman movie and it does a decent job of avoiding the politics involved in the whole thing and setting it up more as a thriller. Except it doesn't really set it up as a good thriller. I'm pretty sure the words “On a mission to find the facts…” don’t qualify as a tagline, even if you say them in a deep and ominous voice.

If deep voice narrator guy says the words “On a mission” they should be followed by “to save his daughter” or “to stop an alien invasion in South America”. “To find the facts” seems like kind of a let down. It’s like saying “in this movie you’ll be able to watch people read the newspaper”. Doesn’t matter how you say it, it still doesn’t sound exciting.

If the name of this movie sounds familiar to you, it's probably because you were a teenage pervert some time around the mid-90s. Fair Game was also the name of a 1995 William Baldwin/Cindy Crawford movie which was not at all about Valerie Plame. Actually, it's only ever been noteworthy because it features more than its fair share of Cindy Crawford topless.

For more on Naomi Watts's Fair Game visit our preview page. For Cindy Crawford's, try Google Image Search with "Safe Search" turned off. Actually you probably shouldn't do that last thing. It's NSFW.

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