Friday, June 5, 2009


Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, Tom Wilkinson

"Outwit. Outspy. Outsmart. Outplay.
Then get out."

Cinema 12, SM Megamall

OK so if it weren't for the two bankable stars playing the main characters in this spy themed drama (with some tinge of comedy), this film wouldn't really be successful. The time frame is confusing, there are many flashback sequences and you can develop a headache trying to get a sense of what is really going on. But the trick is to pay close attention as the story unfolds because eventually when you are back in the comfort of your couch and you got more time to piece the events together, you finally get the whole premise. Just bear in mind that the movie works on the theory that you simply cannot trust anyone especially when you are dealing with experts in the espionage business.

Claire (Julia Roberts) is a former CIA agent. While Ray (Clive Owen) used to work for the British Intelligence. After one steamy encounter, their paths are invariably intertwined as they both scheme to outdo, outwit each other this time in the intriguing and highly lucrative field of corporate espionage.

Their story unfolds in a sequence of never ending flashbacks peppered within the main plot. This is where you need to pay attention so you can get a semblance of exactly when the main premise of the film is hatched by the 'feuding' spies. Their numerous encounters take them to the most beautiful cities in the world like Dubai, Zurich and Rome. Therefore the slick cinematography is like a mini travelogue buoyed with a soundtrack reminiscent of an Ocean Eleven movie.

I admit the main reason I watched this movie is for Julia Roberts (I'm her avid fan) and Clive Owen (I believe he is a very talented actor). Their chemistry on screen is a brilliant collaboration of fine acting, good timing and well delivered dialogue. They have great rapport and it was a delight to watch them interact with each other. They are ably supported by a cast of minions who are at their beck and call and certainly do their share in complicating the already murky plot. Most notably Paul Giamatti and Tom Wilkinson in very small yet highly significant roles.

The thrilling moments in the first part of the film was fast paced and edgy. The mid section seem to falter a bit because at this point you either lose interest with the many subplots or you are on full mental alert trying to keep pace. Then the little twist in the ending seemed a bit anti-climatic yet played out really well in the unpredictability factor. But if anything, this film proves that big corporations would go to great lengths to protect their trade secrets.

So if you are in the mood for some espionage cum romantic comedy then this film should please you. If not then simply watch the film for the excellent rapport between Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. It is worth it, believe me!

2 popcorn buckets:

Wil said...

So it seems that Roberts' and Owens' chemistry was so great that it overcame the murky plot. Interesting. =)

D@phn3 L@ur@ said...

Aha the same chemistry and good rapport they developed in "Closer". Plus I'm a big fan of Clive Owen so I'd watch most of his films. :)


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