Sunday, April 11, 2010

THE INTERNATIONAL

Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller Stahl, Ulrich Thomsen


"They control your money. They control your government.
They control your life. And everybody pays."


HBO



In this espionage thriller, the two main characters are Interpol Agent Louis Salinger (Clive Owen) and Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Whitman (Naomi Watts). They are investigating BCCI which is one of the most powerful banks. It is involved in illegal activities like money laundering, arms trading and the destabilization of governments.

The pursuit of their campaign takes them to exotic locations like Berlin, Milan, New York and Istanbul. They also encounter various "shady" characters like a weapons manufacturer, a consultant for the bank and the head of the bank. Violence and murder also mar their desperate chase to stop the bank from financing terrorism, war and the instability of poor nations.

This slick and suspenseful spy thriller had a rather implausible plot and thrives on the conspiracy theory genre. There are a bit too many characters to muddle the already murky plot. After a while you give up trying to figure out who works for whom. The cast headed by Clive Owen and Naomi Watts try their best to essay out this complicated story with their subtle acting. There were a few scenes where the dialogue was in a foreign language but they didn't provide English subtitles. Strange!

But I'd say ... the gorgeous locations more than make up for the flaws of the film. There is even a spectacular scene of shooting mayhem at the Guggenheim Museum. That scene alone makes this film worth enduring.

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