Movie Reviews: BODY OF LIES
BODY OF LIES
Based on Washington Post columnist David Ignatius' 2007 novel about a CIA operative, Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio), who uncovers a lead on a major terrorist leader suspected to be operating out of Jordan. When Ferris devises a plan to infiltrate his network, he must first win the backing of cunning CIA veteran Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe) and the collegial, but perhaps suspect, head of Jordanian intelligence. Although ostensibly his allies, Ferris questions how far he can really trust these men without putting his entire operation – and his life – on the line.
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong, Golshifteh Farahani, Oscar Isaac
Director: Ridley Scott
Opened October 10, 2008
Runtime: 2 hr. 8 min.
Rated R for strong violence including some torture, and for language throughout
Genres: Spy Film, Unglamorized Spy Film
If you are looking for a film that digs its teeth into the Middle East conflict and it's bevy of issues Body of Lies is probably not film for you. It only touches on some of the issues and even then it's in passing and without much depth. Is this a terrible thing? Not necessarily and of course depending on what you're expecting from the movie. Ridley Scott has created a fairly engrossing is some what meandering film that sadly falls into conventional clichés as the film nears it's finale. While the film is thoroughly watchable it does lack a sense of focus that could have made it an excellent film. Scott does give us his usual top notch action and visceral punch he always does making the film feel crisp from start to finish. Top notch direction is always helped by stellar acting and the cast here is up to the task for the most part. Russell Crowe is excellent as the Ed Hoffman the proverbial eye in the sky directing DiCaprio's character throughout the film. Paunchy, Crowe gained 50 lbs for the role, and speaking in a southern authoritarian drawl, Hoffman is never totally trust worthy but seems to believe he's much more powerful than he actually is. DiCaprio does well as CIA field agent Roger Ferris but his performance sans the Boston accent is weirdly reminiscent of his The Departed character, also scripted by William Monahan. It's an interesting role but one that feels like it lacks some depth that would have given it more potency. Mark Strong, a more imposing looking Andy Garcia look-alike, delivers a strong performance as well giving his character Hani a cultured yet threatening complexity that very interesting to watch. Muddled yet sometime fascinating, Body of Lies looks to entertain more than provoke deep thought and entertain it does even as it moves into familiar spy thriller territory.