Langston Whitfield is a Washington Post journalist. His editor provocatively sends him to South Africa to cover the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, in which the perpetrators ... See full summary »
Samuel L. Jackson,
John LeCarre's spy thriller is brought to the big screen. A British spy is banished to Panama after having an affair with an ambassador's mistress. Once there he makes connection with a local tailor with a nefarious past and connections to all of the top political and gangster figures in Panama. The tailor also has a wife, who works for the Panamanian president and a huge debt. The mission is to learn what the President intends to do with the Panama Canal. But what the two do is concoct a tremendous fictional tale about former mercenaries who are ready to topple the current government and are willing to work with Britain and the US to do so. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film's opening prologue states: "Often called the 8th wonder of the world[,] The Panama Canal was built by American engineers and operated by the U.S. Army for 85 years. At the end of 1999, it was controversially handed back to Panama leading to intense speculation about the future of this vital gateway. Meanwhile in a corner of Panama City, plying his trade was . . . THE TAILOR OF PANAMA." See more »
When the salsa band is first seen playing on the waterfront, a man is singing, but none of the male band members' mouths is moving. See more »
Andrew 'Andy' Osnard:
Best I could do Andrew. Under the circumstances, given your sins. They were baying for blood.
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If you understand irony, this film should be a real riotous laugh straight through. It is possibly one of the most brilliant movies so far this millennium, outright disrespectful of the "spy" theme: Brosnan's degenerated, decadent b*****d spy Osnard is just the way one would picture James Bond in real life, had the latter not been so awfully loyal. Actually, Osnard is James Bond minus loyalty and with his self-confidence, decadence and sexism turned up a couple of notches. A brilliant character, brilliantly acted. Another fantastic actor is the amazing Geoffrey Rush in the role as the Tailor of Panama, Harry Pendel.
The story is absolutely fascinating, one of the most clever and witty stories to emerge in a long while - the Tailor of Panama reluctantly becomes a spy and conjures up non-existent government plots to sell the Panama Canal to the Chinese, which makes the English and the Americans (portrayed as a bunch of idiots with delusions of grandeur and as militaristic blow-hards with victory as the only goal) react aggressively.
It is important that one understands that this film is serious in one respect only: its comedy. Don't see this expecting to see a thrilling spy-movie. It isn't, though I find the scope of the film thrilling. It's more of a comedy, and if you can't see that when the American general with tears in his eyes blurts: "There is a star missing from the American flag!", then you're not really equipped for this kind of film. The reason I'm writing this is that some reviewers have found the movie to be silly... which is just what one would think if one didn't get it.
Brilliant. Just brilliant.
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