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The International Review


The International tries a bit too hard to be a good movie, perhaps to the point where it hurts itself. It is nowhere the caliber of great movies like Breach or the Bourne series.

The International tries a bit too hard to be a good movie, perhaps to the point where it hurts itself. It is nowhere the caliber of great movies like Breach or the Bourne series.

My rating 2.5 Stars

The thriller is among my very favorite of all movie genres. I love the suspense, the action, and not knowing what is going to happen next. It is my opinion that the best part of going to see a movie is that for a few hours you can take yourself out of your life and put yourself in the middle of someone else’s. My idea of an exciting time is the nail biting experience of thrillers.

The Departed, The Bourne Identity, Breach, The Good Shepherd, Three Days of the Condor are among just a few of my favorite thrillers that I will not pass by when I come across them on the TV while flipping through channels. Each one of those movies never fails to keep me in suspense for the entire length of the film even after seeing it so many times. It’s very exhilarating! I enjoy watching those movies very much. The more real the drama the better, the more complicated the plot the better.

The International is a suspense thriller with Clive Owens and Naomi Watts. The movie is about a current investigation being conducted by the Interpol (the European equivalent to the FBI) on an international bank who is suspected of money laundering, financing terrorist, and a slew of other illegal activities. It sounded fascinating and I could not wait to watch it.

The movie starts out promising, but then takes a sharp U-turn and heads down fast the wrong way of Good Film Boulevard. I am going to be very harsh here, only because I care about these movies so much. I don’t mind cheesy acting in a comedy, I almost expect it. But when it comes to a serious suspense drama, cheese is not an option. Clive Owen did okay, I think he was held back by the script which I didn’t think was written very well. The dialog in the script was very hokey. It looks like it was written by someone who has no idea how the industry works. It was tacky and very boring.

Then there is Naomi Watts. I was not impressed with her character at all. I don’t know if it was her acting or her character development, but I never found her believable in the least. Her character was very flat and uninteresting, her lines were a joke and they never really went anywhere with her.

However, all of this pales in comparison to the story. While the plot is very intriguing, the story is not. It was obvious that they kept trying to keep you in suspense, but it never really worked. I was two steps head of them the whole time and if I could do that, anyone can. There were moments that they tried using the camera angle to deceive you about the current scene. I hate when they do that. They assume that just because you can’t see it that the character on the screen can’t either. I like to call that the Squirrel Tactic. Squirrels assume that if they can’t see the danger, there is none, thus when a hunter is stalking them they hide around objects. If they can’t see their hunter, they are safe. I don’t like this approach to movie making, it’s not believable and every time I watch it I feel insulted.

I am really disappointed in this film. I have yet to see a good thriller this year and I was hoping that this would be it. Now, would I recommend you watch this movie? That all depends on your taste. It’s not a horrible movie, I didn’t care for it because it wasn’t done up to my standards. However, I can be very picky. If you love the Bourne series, this movie may not do anything for you.

To be fair, the movie does offer some plot twists and some interesting action sequences. However, the plot twist I saw coming from a mile away and the action wasn’t enough to take away from the bad script.

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Categories: 2009 Movie Reviews
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