A shaky Windy City-based distaff-powered political thriller held together to a degree by one of its stars is often too cavalier and highfalutin for its own good.
Joe Chappelle’s An Acceptable Loss just can’t induce much taut tension give some drained subtext as it hones in on a former national security advisor Dr. Elizabeth “Libby” Lamm (Tika Sumpter) trying to cope with her part on the war on terror. As it pertains to the loss of 150,000 Syrians in a bombing seven years ago for the now nominal foreign policy professor at a local university.
A mistrustful Libby (intent on setting the record straight of how it all went down) always has a pistol handy while being uncommunicative (when it comes to current, seemingly necessary technology). There’s a zealous political science student (Ben Tavassoli of Overlord) keeping a close eye on her. His modus operandi educes some mystery to the nature of his interests, possibly personal, extremist, or governmental.
Chappelle has exhibited prominence on the small-screen from The Wire to ‘CSI: Miami’ doesn’t arrange the proceedings with the desired deftness considering a major turn of events which accentuates a droopy, even flimsy quality as emphasized by the sounds of stringed instruments.
Sumpter (very good as Michelle Robinson who takes up with one Barack Obama in Southside With You) is restrained quite a bit by the role though a certain moral fiber is evident. It’s Jamie Lee Curtis as POTUS Rachel Burke (formerly the second-in-command) who is the most striking figure (though hardly a fully fleshed-out character) with the kind of domineering intentness that served her late middle-age Laurie Strode against Michael Myers last year. Even with her stouthearted smug spouting, this Loss isn’t very absorbing, sheathed in a less than timely manner of “excellence.”