In order to foil an extortion plot, an FBI agent undergoes a facial transplant surgery and assumes the identity and physical appearance of a terrorist, but the plan turns from bad to worse when the same terrorist impersonates the FBI agent.
Robert Dean is a mild-mannered lawyer who works in Washington D.C. He is on the trail of a kingpin named Pintero. Meanwhile, a politician named Thomas Reynolds is negotiating with Congressman Phillip Hammersley about a new surveillance system with satellites. But, Hammersley declines; Reynolds has Hammersley killed, but the murder is caught on tape, and the taper is chased by Reynolds' team of NSA agents. The guy must ditch the tape, so he plants it on Dean (unbeknownst to Dean). Then, the NSA decides to get into Dean's life. That is when Dean's life began to fall apart all around him, with his wife and job both gone. Dean wants to find out what is going on. Then, he meets a man named "Brill" who tells him that Dean has something that the government wants. Dean and Brill formulate a plan to get Dean's life back and turn the tables on Reynolds. Written by
Excellent, perfectly cast, thought provoking thriller!
This was an excellent, well thought out, intelligent, masterpiece of a thriller! It's the best film I've seen since "Fugitive-The Movie" It is well done in so many ways that I don't know where to begin, so I'll just mention the high points that come to mind immediately. First of all, Will Smith, Gene Hackman, and Jon Voight are so well cast in their characters that it is scary.
Jon Voight is so good in his character as the sophisticated, cold hearted, fiendishly clever villain that it seems the part was made for him and only him. What a bad guy! You had to hate him (like Ernest Borgnine as the mean stockade Sergeant in "From Here to Eternity"). His character was so cold, calculating, and uncaring about humans, other than himself, that it was a pleasure to watch and try to understand his take on the events that took place,and how he justified his views.
Gene Hackman, as Brill, was such an integral part of this fast moving, thought provoking film, that without him as the perfectly cast ex-CIA Agent, the story would not have worked (and with him, it worked so very well). Hackman was a pleasure to watch, and his character was so fascinating and he played him so well that Smith, at times, just shook his head when I doubt that it was in the script.
Will Smith's character needed him so desperately, that it would have taken three or more very good actors to fill in all the missing pieces that "Brill" did alone and was such an interesting character to watch every second that he was on the screen. The whole privacy issue part of the plot was dealt with so well that one had to give it serious thought after the film the pace of the action didn't allow for (discussion type) deep thought during the film. As the plot unfolded, "Brill" explained to us (the viewers) much of what was going on through his conversations with and schooling of Smith's character. A technique that I enjoy, because we learned as he learned - as much as they wanted us to know at any given point in time in the story.
Smith's character was beautifully cast in the typical "Alfred Hitchcock" formula of placing a somewhat ordinary person in an extraordinary situation, and then, we watch to see how he uses his wits to cope, while we subconsciously place ourselves in his situation and think at each step, what we -ourselves- would do in such a scenario. Beautiful.
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