Saturday, May 23, 2009
This movie surprised me in a few ways. I went into it thinking I was going to see an espionage-heavy semi-thriller with political overtones. The International was certianly that, but the plot also dips into extremely effective action territory throughout. There is a shoot-out scene in the middle of the film that really blew me away. Think the shootout from Heat but on a smaller more intimate scale. The best feature of this movie was that I found it to be extremely realistic across the board. It had a real-world plot involving mutli-national conglomerates and the politics surrounding the prosecution of said international corporate law-breakers. The realism extended to an instance of a particular medical emergency suffered by one of the supporting characters that didn't leave out any of the gory details. Most films show people dying in an audience-friendly way. They usually struggle for a second then fall over and close their eyes. That's not how it happens. Death in real life is an extremely ugly experience and this film has a few unflinching views of the truly gut-wrenching side of death. None of the action overshadowed the main plot but greatly added to it. The performances by the supporting characters weren't particularly memorable but Clive Owen was very good as the idealistic but tough-under-pressure Interpol agent. Naomi Watts' character didn't break out the way I know she is capable of doing but it didn't detract at all from the enjoyment of the film. It was a fantastic and sometimes harrowing escape into international espionage that didn't disappoint.
Honestly: 8 out of 10
Genre: Political Thriller, Espionage, International Law, Conspiracy, Action (Some)
In the Same Ballpark: Syriana, Traffic, The Good Shepherd, The Interpreter, The Manchurian Candidate, The Parallax View