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.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 5 Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’
Best TV shows on Netflix: 26 series to binge on
'Phallic symbols' found hidden in famous Pre-Raphaelite painting 'Isabella' by John Everett Millais
Top Gear Burma episode breached Ofcom rules over Jeremy Clarkson's racial slur
Game of Thrones season 4 blooper reel unveiled at Comic-Con 2014
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan