Monday, June 15, 2009
Movie Reviews: THE INTERNATIONAL
Interpol agent Louis Salinger (Clive Owen) joins forces with New York prosecutor Eleanor Whitman (Naomi Watts) to put an end to a powerful bank's funding of terrorism. As they follow the money from Germany to Italy to New York to Turkey, Salinger and Whitman find their own lives are at risk from those who will stop at nothing to protect their interests.
Cast: Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Brian F. O'Byrne
Director: Tom Tykwer
Opened February 13, 2009
Runtime: 1 hr. 58 min.
Rated R for some sequences of violence and language
Genres: Political Thriller, Psychological Thriller, Thriller
Tom Tykwer, director of my of all time favorite films Run Lola Run, has plenty of star power to work with in The International mixed with wonderfully scenic and exotic locales this film should be a classic but sadly it merely average. It’s not really Tykwer’s fault, the script is filled with issues and plagued by lack of depth on any of the characters. First-time screenwriter Eric Warren Singer shows an ability to throw large and heady ideas but doesn’t seem able to bring together in a cohesive whole. In addition, Singer’s script never gives any of the characters any type of depth or back story, tidbits about the characters past are mentioned but never fleshed out. Regardless, Tykwer does fantastic work behind the camera giving this film a modern appearance and never presenting anything close to mundane onto the screen. A spectacularly staged shootout in the Guggenheim Museum, meticulously recreated, is an example of beautiful carnage. The cast is impressive and all do solid work with what little they have to work with. Clive Owen wears a steely seething angry look throughout most of the film and he brings a fair amount of gravitas to the affair. Naomi Watts tries to bring something to her character but it’s so thinly written and she’s given so little to do that she can’t help but be forgettable. Armin Mueller-Stahl is impressive in his role and bring a necessary sense of gravitas to the proceedings, sadly his roles is painfully small and mostly confined to the last third of the film. Brian F. O'Byrne has what could have been an interesting role as the bank’s consultant aka assassin but his character is mostly glossed over as his main scene involves the aforementioned shootout at the Guggenheim. Tykwer delivers a visually impressive film which could have been a truly special had it had a more experienced screenwriter behind it. As is, The International is a self serious convoluted thriller, that’s a lot slower paced than the ads would have you believe, which leaves you mildly disinterested when we reach the swift and unsatisfying finale.