Two ex-government agents turned rival industrial spies have to be at the top of their game when one of their companies prepares to launch a major product. However, they distract each other in more ways than one.
When his mentor is taken captive by a disgraced Arab sheik, a killer-for-hire is forced into action. His mission: kill three members of Britain's elite Special Air Service responsible for the death of his sons.
In The International, Interpol Agent Louis Salinger and Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Whitman are determined to bring to justice one of the world's most powerful banks. Uncovering illegal activities including money laundering, arms trading, and the destabilization of governments, Salinger and Whitman's investigation takes them from Berlin to Milan to New York and to Istanbul. Finding themselves in a high-stakes chase across the globe, their relentless tenacity puts their own lives at risk as the bank will stop at nothing - even murder - to continue financing terror and war. Written by
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning
As others have stated, the current banking scandals have cast a very grim light on bankers and the banking industry in general, and so The International is, if nothing else, a very timely and relevant thriller that plays on modern fears and frustrations. How it didn't do better at the box office with this in mind (maybe it was the recession? Hah, how ironic would that be, a film failed by the corrupt industry it's trying to expose?) is a mystery, but that it manages to be a genuinely intelligent and absorbing thriller anyway is a credit to it.
We have here a polished effort, slick, stylish and glossy and carried out with an accomplished flair that sets it a cut above some. In the lead role as the intrepid Interpol agent on a deadly trail of murder and corruption, Clive Owen continues to improve as an actor and has fine support, including the likes of Naomi Watts and Armin Mueheller Stall, carrying the story along as it gathers pace. The big down point, though, is that at the expense of this intelligence in the script comes a decidedly dull feeling to the film in parts, with maybe too much talking and too little action, which is counter productive to the riveting attention it's trying to demand. But this does improve towards the end and while there are some flaws, there are certainly more plusses. ***
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