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
Originally scheduled for release in August 2008. After badly-received previews, and re-shoots to turn it into more of an action film, it was released in February 2009, during the worst banking crisis in U.S. history. See more »
When Detective Ward is shot in the neck at the museum, Salinger tries to stop the gushing blood with his hand. Yet, when he grabs the (white) railing as the shoot-out continues, he leaves no traces from his blood covered hands. See more »
I pretty much had zero expectations for this film. I'd seen an ad or two and it looked conventional at best, clumsy at worst. The previews certainly don't do it justice. It starts smart and mean and doesn't let up. Not everyone will enjoy the unrelenting mood, but I found the picture intense and the rest of the audience in the theater seemed to agree. It helps that Clive Owen is believable as the protagonist and is highly watchable. A lesser actor in the role would have made the film much less effective. Armin Mueller-Stahl also adds credibility and depth. Other supporting actors were, for the most part, strong and gritty. There was probably pressure for a female lead, so in Noami Watts's defense, this is probably part of the reason why the character feels so irrelevant.
I'm happy anytime that a slick international thriller has some brains and isn't completely predictable, so I found the picture highly entertaining, if imperfect. It it flawed? Most certainly. But if you walk into the theater without pretensions, you'll probably be as entertained as I was. And I do think a theater visit is warranted, for the photography mentioned by previous reviewers, if not for the Guggenheim scene alone. I think it's dangerous to trump up a scene too much, because it inevitably leads to disappointment. But having no idea about what was coming... suffice to say, I didn't find the directing anything other than thrilling.
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