The Edward Snowden leak was so shocking in both the volume and the nature of the information revealed that it practically screamed out for Oliver Stone to film a docudrama about the incident. And now the trailer for that docudrama, Snowden, is here.
The trailer focuses heavily on painting the NSA contractor (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) as a skilled patriot, while revealing the decisions that led Snowden to distribute a mountain of damning government secrets. A frustrated Army Reservist who was injured while training for special forces, an obligatory “completing a four hour test in minutes” scene reveals Snowden’s true aptitude for computer science. Snowden’s outing as a superdork leads to his working with Rhys Ifans and subdued Nicolas Cage.
Corrupt government officials—including Timothy Olyphant in Lothario mode—then tempt the young analyst with all sorts of morality-compromising pleasures. Instead, his interest is piqued by his discovery that Uncle Sam is the world’s creepiest internet stalker. In a strangely meta moment, Gordon-Levitt’s Snowden wonders if he’s being watched (he is, by Oliver Stone’s film crew), and decides to take action. Snowden then jumps from an indictment of the bad guys in national intelligence to the contractor turning the tables with an elaborate, Ocean’s Eleven-quality information heist, even roping in a Rubik’s cube to infiltrate government servers.