The International (15)
Pick your own hokum – from bonkers bankers to Nazi sci-fi
Sunday 01 March 2009
Bankers have never looked more villainous than they do now, so this might be the ideal moment to release The International, a conspiracy thriller which casts the bosses of a corporate bank as the bad guys. Mind you, a film would have to be more credible and sophisticated than this one to sate our fervent desire to see some fat cats getting their just deserts. The baddies in The International aren't only paying themselves seven-figure bonuses while the taxpayer foots the bill, they're ordering highly public assassinations to be carried out by a hitman whose leg brace sets off airport metal detectors. If some aspects of the film could have been torn from today's headlines, others could have been torn from a 40-year-old spy novel. Still, as hokey as The International undoubtedly is, it's also a fast and efficient yarn which starts with the action already under way, and which doesn't pause for breath as it globe-trots from Berlin to Milan to Istanbul.
Clive Owen does sterling work as an Interpol agent who strides through every scene in a bullish rage, as if he's furious that he didn't get the role of James Bond, and he's taking it out on anyone who gets in his way. This is a man so angry that when a potential informant is murdered, he punches the corpse in frustration. But Naomi Watts is insipid as a New York Deputy District Attorney, an underwritten part which makes the average Bond girl seem like Hedda Gabler. If only the whole film were as exciting as a shoot-out in The Guggenheim Museum that's both completely ridiculous and completely brilliant.
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 2 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 3 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Fight Club 2: Chuck Palahniuk sequel is a 'meta-fictional comment on the cultural response to the original'
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?
Star Wars 7: Plot details 'leak', with sequel's opening sequence and premise revealed
Original Rick Astley 'rickrolling' video removed from YouTube
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains