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Solutions

Every generation thinks they're living at the worst possible time for dirty politics and shocking scandals, but of course politics has always been a dirty business and these days it just seems worse because it spreads all over the internet in five seconds and then you can't get away from it. Still, I have to admit that this last year or so probably has been particularly unpleasant and not just because it seems to be everywhere all the time. In Solutions, though, politics are even dirtier than usual.

It starts when James Cross (Timothy J. Cox), a very wealthy businessman, decides he wants to run for mayor of his city. The problem is that his opponent is popular and Cross himself has an approval rating even lower than a certain president I could mention, so he needs a miracle, soon. He turns to a man named Derek Price (David P.B. Stephens) who fixes things, and no, he isn't the sort of handyman you'd find on Craigslist. For the right price -- and it's a hefty one -- he's willing to fix this election, permanently.

Derek has decided that this is also a good opportunity to start training up the next generation. His son Damon (Oise Ohiwerei) is interested in dad's job and now that he's old enough it's time to get him involved. Apparently "fixing" is a lot like "swimming" because Derek begins his son's training by throwing him into the deep end to see if he sinks or swims. All it takes is one nefarious little gadget and all of Cross' worries will be over -- at least as long as Damon can manage the job.

The movie is framed by narration from an older, hopefully wiser Damon, reflecting back on his first job with a sort of cynical nostalgia. It has a run time of about twenty minutes but fits a lot into that time frame, from the younger Damon's wisecracks to his later philosophical bent to some suspenseful action, and all these facets are equally enjoyable. Derek is both an Eastwood-style tough guy and a regular dad trying to get his kid started in life -- albeit a regular dad with a job you can't talk about on Career Day -- and the relationship between father and son shines. It's a quietly, darkly funny look at the very seediest side of politics that might make you wonder the next time you hear a story about an unfortunate accident.

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It's so touching to see a kid out on his first stakeout with his dad.

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