Wednesday, June 17, 2009


The main reason to check out Tom Tykwer's stylish political thriller The International (B) arrives at about the 100 minute mark. Clive Owen's interpol agent heads into an incredible replica of NYC's Guggenheim Museum with some heavily armed bad-guys giving chase. What follows next is nothing short of a tour de force sequence; the entire museum is shot to shit, bullets riddling the walls and art exhibits and a few innocent bystanders for extra nastiness. The fact that the bad-guys can't aim properly is beside the point; bad-guys have notoriously bad aim in action movies. Overall, The International is a solid piece of entertainment, but it wants to be placed in the same realm of other (but better) paranoid/conspiracy genre staples like The Parallax View, Three Days of the Condor, and Enemy of the State -- the problem is that the script isn't juicy enough. The plot centers on an evil bank(!) that is funding world-wide terrorist operations and arming third world militas with guns and ammunition. Owen, along with Naomi Watts in an underwritten role, runs, yells, shoots, and schemes his way through the fast-paced narrative but the movie feels oddly weightless by its conclusion. Tykwer, a first-rate stylist who also directed the great Run Lola Run and the supremely underrated Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, knows how to keep the pace taut and the action exciting. I just wish that the debut screenplay from Eric Singer had been crisper around the edges; his dialogue would have benefited from a polish as well. Still, it's a fun movie that's worth a rental.

1 comment:

uncle fred said...

Just saw this on DVD. Solid. Loved the end. Smart, stylish and more than over the top with reference to the shoot out. I mean - what NO COPS around! Duh! But, aside from that, the notion that no matter who gets killed - SPOILER --- including one of the major players...NOTHING changes. I liked that.