US warriors play mind games

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 January, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 January, 2010, 12:00am

The Men Who Stare at Goats might seem like a silly name for a war movie, but it is relatively sensible compared to the bizarre story it tells - so strange it is difficult to believe it is based on real-life events in the United States military.

Reporter Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) is looking for a news story and Lyn Cassady (George Clooney) offers him one: an experimental military unit called New Earth Army is training soldiers, or Warrior Monks, to use psychic or mind power to fight terrorists. The monks can read minds, pass through walls and even kill goats just by staring at them.

When Bob digs deeper into the alternative warfare programme, he discovers its founder, Bill Django (Jeff Bridges), has gone missing. He and Lyn embark on a journey to track him down, only to find themselves faced with a renegade - a mean-spirited and ultra-competitive psychic, Larry Hooper (Kevin Spacey) - and his secret training camp.

When the psychic warfare technique gets corrupted, the pair has to out-smart the mind-reader and save not only Bill but themselves.

Directed by actor-turned-director Grant Heslov of Good Night, and Good Luck fame, The Men Who Stare at Goats' mind-boggling story of the US government's seemingly irrational attempts to find paranormal military applications is inspired by journalist Jon Ronson's non-fiction bestseller of the same name.

The Men Who Stare at Goats, which boasts a top cast and production team, is a mixture of politics, humour and satire - it is an intriguing, wild adventure that surprises at every turn.

Goats opens on January 14