Cert PG 74mins Stars 3

This frustrating documentary about 40th US president overestimates the strength of its own brief and ends up improvising to camera.

It begins by arguing after starring in 53 Hollywood movies, Ronald Reagan was perfectly trained to be Commander in Chief.

He had great broadcasting skills, was comfortable surrounded by cameras, had an eye for a photo opportunity and established a new media template for those who followed. 

Plus there are some entertaining snippets about techniques he’d use to avoid answering awkward questions, but it exhausts its best material early on.

So with little evidence in support, it reduces the resolution of the Cold War nuclear arms race against the USSR to a series of PR stunts designed to upstage Gorbachev, Reagan’s opposite number in the Kremlin.

This is a useful primer for the YouTube generation for whom all this is ancient history, but there’s little new for those of us who remember it first time around.

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