This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 11th, 2007 at 1:30 pm and is filed under Action, K, War. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Director: Peter Berg
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Ashraf Barhom, Ali Suliman, Jeremy Piven.
Collateral and Smokin’ Aces director, Peter Berg gives us his best film, thus far (though I kinda liked Copland a few years back) with this action effort. The story is ok, though the Saudi Arabia comes off looking like war-torn Iraq and the Saudi officials look pretty backward, but it is helped along with some stylish camera work, including sparing, but effective, hand held scenes. The stock characters are right off the action shelf, but the acting and screen presence of the performers adds to them.
The movie starts with a quickie Middle Eastern history lesson during the opening credits and soon moves to a frightening terrorist attack on a foreign workers compound in Saudi Arabia. The casualties include an FBI friend of Ronald Fleury (Jamie Foxx), which puts him in the revenge fast lane. He bluffs/blackmails his way into an investigative visit with three other team members. The team includes good performances by Cooper and Garner and a pretty irritating Bateman character. The team’s handler is Colonel Faris Al Ghazi (Ashraf Barhom) whose orders are to take them on a polite look-but-don‘t-touch chaperoned tour of the crime scene. The determined Fleury finds a way around that and soon the FBI agents are up to their elbows in evidence and up to their necks in gunfire, and bombings. There is a great car crash scene that marks the arrival of an intense, violent, but very engaging third act leading to a predictable, but effective, Hollywood ending which tacks on some kind of violence-is-not-the-answer message. Too little, too late.
This film is a little reminiscent of Harrison Ford’s Clear and Present Danger, when the enemy of choice was drug lords rather than Muslim extremists. Action fans will enjoy the hard-edged violence and will not have any problem with thin characters and a formula story. In the end, it is pretty good at what it is and will please most of its viewers.