Film Review: The International

Some muppet on Radio 4 called this “a Bourne movie without Matt Damon.” Yeah, right. It’s a Bourne movie with out MD, without a director one tenth as good as Paul Greengrass, or writers like Tony Gilroy and George Nolfi, stunt directors like Dan Bradley.

This movie is an atrocity.

With the partial exception of a couple of good lines of dialogue e.g. “You should relax.”“I feel more comfortable when I’m tense”, this movie has NO redeeming qualities. Not even the much vaunted shoot-out at the Guggenheim is any good. It’s trying to mimic the ‘public place meets the brutal realities of international espionage’ that Greengrass pulled off for Alexanderplatz in the Bourne Supremacy and Waterloo Station in Ultimatum. But it fails fails fails. It’s too long, too comic book, just plain irritating.

It’s not that Owen is bad, it’s just that he’s given nothing proper to work with. It’s not that Watts is bad, it’s just that her character wasn’t needed in this film.

There are big fat didactic wodges of shoe-horned ‘dialogue’- I thought Mike Meyers had killed this off with the Basil Exposition character in the Austin Powers films.

And that’s the key. If you care about the characters you’ll overlook violence to geography (e.g. Istanbul here) and you’ll forgive some plot holes for the Bourne films, a short list would include; why didn’t Landy figure Bourne was heading for Berlin after the Munich explosion, why didn’t Noah Vosen disable Nicky Parsons computer after Madrid, what happened to the Tangier cops who were chasing Bourne, and how did he and Nicky so easily escape detection after killing Desh, what happened to Pam Landy’s sidekick when he dropped her at 415/71).

But this, this… you DON’T CARE about the characters and also the plot holes are gargantuan; why does the Italian politician meet some low level flunkies and spill his guts? Where are the New York cops in the ten minutes or so once shots are fired at a major tourist attraction, why do other New York cops let Watts have Owen, how does Owen get to Italy, to Istanbul etc etc etc. I could go on. But neither you nor I want me to.

Do Not See This Film. Do not see any other film by the writer (Eric Singer) or the director (Tom Twyker)- they are on my Ron Howard list of film-makers to avoid.

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Below the surface...
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