Random Reviews: The Cliven Bundy Story

Rancher Cliven Bundy poses at his home in Bunkerville, Nevada

Movie alert!

I haven’t done one of these in a while and wasn’t intending to, but today I was sitting at home, incredibly bored and not very motivated to start studying for my AP exam. Out of this boredom and procrastination, I decided to flip the channels in search of something to watch. I didn’t expect anything spectacular to be airing on a Friday afternoon, but cable TV proved me wrong.

On the popular CCL (Cheesy Crap Load) network, a movie recently premiered called The Cliven Bundy Story: An American Patriot. Sounds intriguing? I thought so! However, I had found that it was not able to meet my expectations… it exceeded them!

The film tells a story that few in today’s liberal Hollywood are willing to tell. One of a man and his undying love for his land.

(Even if that land is not really his land, but I won’t complicate this with silly technicalities.)

The protagonist, Cliven Bundy, beautifully portrayed by an unknown actor named Cliven Bundy, is a hard-working, moral, red-blue-and-white blooded American. For decades Bundy has managed to raise his cows on a small patch of land in his home-state of Nevada. Nothing pretentious. He is simply a good ole fashioned farmer, trying to make a living like every other honest citizen of the United States Nevada.

There’s a sweet little scene in the beginning where he is sitting at a Mom & Pop kind of diner, chatting with a local about the state of the country. Here’s a little preview:

Bundy: Things aren’t the way they used to be.

Unnamed-Similarly-Aged-But-Not-As-Endearing-Man: No. They sure aren’t. 

Bundy: I often just stand there, looking out at all those cows and wonder to myself, “Where has the true ‘Merica gone?”

Unnamed-Similarly-Aged-But-Not-As-Endearing-Man: Tell Hell in a hand-basket, as mother would say.

[They both laugh.]

Bundy: That’s why I’m happy I got that land. It’s practically the last remaining hope I have for this country. Reminds me of a simpler time when you can break federal law and somehow get away with it for decades. 

Unnamed-Similarly-Aged-But-Not-As-Endearing-Man: Amen.

I wish I could say that the rest of the film continues on as happily but I can’t. Every hero must meet his roadblock. In this case, said roadblock is the evil that is the Bureau of Land Management. Or to be specific, the federal government. 

But let’s be real: the villain here is Obama.

Obama rides in on his Tesla, adorned atrociously with a rainbow flag, and stomps right onto Bundy’s land. Bundy, caught off guard while nursing a baby calf back to health with his affectionate hugs, politely but nervously approaches the men in black suits.

Apparently, he owes $1 million dollars in fees for illegally grazing on government-owned property. They order him to get his animals off the land, threaten to send the cows to a gay-conversion camp in San Francisco if he doesn’t obey, and laugh wickedly as they fly away on their broomsticks.

(Wait– didn’t they drive in on a Tesla? Okay, this movie does have some consistency issues.)

There it is. A classic plot line you’ve most likely seen before on Hallmark, Lifetime, or any of those weird Christian channels nobody pays for but gets anyway: Small town gets taken over by the big guys. At this point, it might seem a bit cliche but everything in the entertainment industry nowadays is a cliche. That’s what remakes are for.

What makes this one stand out is, again, it’s wonderful protagonist. You cannot make a more American American if you mate George Washington with Sarah Palin.

Look at him! That tingly feeling you’re getting is called “patriotism.” And it is contagious.

Bundy is defeated at first, like every law-abiding citizen tends to be when they’re convicted of a federal crime. He sits atop one of his horses and gazes out at the pasture he has known so well. There is this one particular shot I love where you get a close up of Bundy’s face, strong but broken, and he wipes a single tear rolling down his cheek with the helm of the American flag.

But defeat is not what stories like these are about. Of course, our hero gets a push in the right direction; an epiphany so powerful it moves the viewer to tears.

As Bundy sits there, ready to given in to Big Brother, he hears a voice call out to him. A small but clear voice echoing, “Cliven, Cliven…”

He looks up and smiles.

“No, it’s me,” says a cow grazing by.

Confused, Bundy almost falls over, but he is able to catch himself as one of his cows begin to offer him advice on how to handle his situation. The cow tells him how grateful the cow is for all he has done for the cow. How he had nursed the cow since the cow was young and raised it Christian like the cow’s mother had wanted. The cow says that all the other cows look up to Bundy; he is a father figure to them. The cow also states that Bundy should not give up; he should stand up for not only his values, but the values of all other cows in America.

Touched, Bundy leaps away on his horse, thanks the cow, and pledges that he will fight the good fight.

Surprisingly, there is a lot of action in the second half of this movie. The government arrives to seize Bundy’s land, armed with weapons (of course), and alien spaceships, and marijuana, and e-cigs, and homosexuals, and copies of Obamacare, and Zach Galifianakis. 

But Bundy’s not alone. Here’s the part of the movie where you should get your little American flag and sparklers ready. His story has reached millions and millions of cows. Not only does he have support from the ones on his ranch but cows from all over the US has come to give him a hand.

They come prepared with weapons of their own (yay second amendment!) and nothing else but pure American pride– which is what you will be dripping with when you finish this movie. Bundy stands before them, chin up, smile sparking.

He is the hero of the cows (and people with equal or lesser mental capacities).

I won’t ruin the ending for you. Well, he does lose his case in court  but that’s not the real ending because it’s not like judicial decisions are like legit or anything because this is the West, and people there are unofficially allowed to break the law. Duh.

This type of legal system makes for awesome stand-offs.

Every once in a while, a piece of art comes along that really catches the soul of a culture. This is certainly one of them. It preaches the country’s long-forgotten virtues and beliefs that have helped form a place we call the United States of America. And if one of those beliefs isn’t that you should be able to take over land, make it your own, and threaten others off with weapons, then take away my citizenship and deport me to Canada.

Your beloved blogger,



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