The International
review by Neo

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Year: 2009

Box Office: US$58 million

Director: Tom Tykwer

Producer: Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Lloyd Phillips

Writer: Eric Singer

Starring: Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl

Genre: Political/Corporate Thriller

Tagline: An ambitious agenda that never lifts above its material…

Review by Neo: The International kicks off in the most promising manner, only to end up leaving the audience empty with nothing left in the stomach. With good actors on display in the likes of Clive Owen and Naomi Watts, the film fails to capitalise on this and in response, the actors are unable to portray interesting enough characters for the audience to follow. What we are talking about is a conspiracy and a major one that involves various levels of governments as well as big corporation around the world. However, the director seems to believe that the matter itself is far more important than character development or even story for that matter. The result is a few good action sequences, including the one in the tall building with the gunfight staged internally and chasing scenes here and there. Which is rather a disappointment, considering what couldíve been and what may have happened?

The movie goes like this: A CIA agent played by Clive Owen is taking the laws on his own hand, and seems to have uncovered an international conspiracy. He teams up another agent in the likes of Naomi Watts (who is a mother with children) and attempt to take on the big guys and in turn is chased after and as the usually thing goes, everything goes bloody.

I actually though the film had a relatively good starting point and premises, but somehow, the characters are just so uninteresting that the audience rarely feels any excitement and the fact that it is a thriller, it made that point all the more deafening. The real problem lies in casting, it is clear that Clive Owen (King Arthur) is miscast, but thatís not to say it is entirely his fault, as I personally though he did well enough back in King Arthur. However, here, he is boring, borderline stoic and ultimately a character, where the audience knows nothing about. Some point of mystery is okay, but too much, the audience will get frustrated. Apart from the somewhat exhilarating gun-fight scene in the white building, the film just never seems to kick off. Likewise, Naomi Watts gets a paper thin character with almost next to nothing to work with. Watts is a talented actress as seen in Mulholland Drive and even The Ring, but she is uniformly wasted in a role that can be played by just about anyone.

All in all, The International is borderline mediocre at best and disappointment is probably a better word. It is almost safe to say here, that the ending didnít work for me; too many corners were cut, too many mystery unsolved and too many potentials plotline unfulfilled. As mentioned above, the only positive light comes in the form of the action sequences, but even that requires an interesting hero for the audience to follow. The point is The International provides none of that and the result is a film where the conspiracy got the better of it and long before the credits actually rolled, the audience is already feeling the end … (Neo 2009)

I rate it 4.5/10

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