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When the first female President of the US is assassinated during a
speech, all hell breaks loose. This is the beginning of Conspiracy
It looks as if the assassin has escaped. Some time later, an elderly couple find a wounded man whose parachute is stuck in a tree. He has no idea who he is. On his neck is a tattoo "XIII."
The assassin is still being hunted, and when the young man uses the computer at the elderly couple's home, the government tracks him there, but he gets away.
Some suggest this is an inside job, not from outside terrorists, possibly to influence the upcoming election.
XIII is desperate to find out who he is, and what he's done. When he is finally captured, he finds out that he has been given a stolen identity, plastic surgery, and gone undercover to expose conspirators who want to overthrow the government. They are right in the government itself, running a secret agency.
Lots of car chases, shootings, torture, the usual thing for this kind of film. It is somewhat interesting, if highly derivative. The first hour was better than the second.
This TV movie, which was a pilot for a series (which I never saw) has been compared to Jason Bourne for obvious reasons. I found it nowhere as exciting as any of the Bourne films.
I really liked Stephen Dorff - he has a quiet, sincere demeanor, and when he has to fight, get out of the way. The rest of the cast was okay, with the standout being Catarina Murino as Sam, a woman who helps him.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I thought this miniseries was OK. Not outstanding, not too overdone. I
recognized a lot of stuff from the game XIII, though I enjoyed the
things they changed in the story.
The comparison to Bourne only goes for 'the agent with memory-loss'. The story is completely different, and in my opinion the plot is way better. It's only a shame that this plot gets degraded by the open ending, which I also hated in the game.
Possibly the best thing about this miniseries is that it's two movies, instead of one. They never would've fit the entire story in one movie and still make sense. Plus it's double the pleasure for the viewer.
The acting was fine in general. Also Sam, played by Caterina Murino who featured in Casino Royale, was a good twist in the original story. As far as conspiracies go, this is a good one to enjoy watching.
America's first female president is shot during Memorial Day when she
announces that she will bring back the troops from the Middle East. The
shooter is about to leave the scene of the crime. Val is sitting in a
car and communicates with someone that the shooter is about to leave.
As soon as the killer exits an elevator two security guards shoot at
him, but he kills them. Then Val confronts the killer himself but he
manages to escape.
Then a military higher up, General Carrington, meets some little black girl and they talk about some failed mission, bodies, and someone who escaped.
Now we meet a hunter who discovers a guy hanging from a parachute and bleeding. He takes him to his home where his wife takes care of him. The guy has a tattoo on his upper chest "XIII". He has some flashbacks but also amnesia. He knows nothing previous to waking up at the hunter's home. But they also discover he's got great military/self-defense skills and has some muscle memory of accessing some sites with a memory card he had in his watch.
The NSA run by the awesome Colonel Amos in the meantime is trying to find the killer and eventually make public the picture of XIII.
But Val and some military unit show up and shoot up everyone at the hunter's place. XIII escapes but is eventually grabbed by the NSA. He's tortured, uh...interrogated, but since he's got amnesia he has nothing to say. He manages to escape. And always Val after him who grabs him at some point only to lose him again. Eventually the little black girl and Carrington contact XIII and tell him what is going on.
XIII of course is on a mission to discover his past. He's got pictures of a woman. But Carrington lets him know that he has a task to complete. He's not really the killer but his job is to draw out a conspiracy deep within the government. XIII agrees to continue. And sure enough, since the election is coming up there are powerful interests trying to obtain a certain result. After the president was killed, several terrorist attacks have taken place on US soil and XIII discovers a major nuclear attack planned on election day. Terrorism is as usual used by hawks to try to direct foreign and domestic policy. And the surprises continue till the very end.
XIII has a fantastic rich and complicated story involving political intrigue, conspiracies, red flag operations, terrorism, etc. It has some good action scenes as XIII is almost invincible. I wouldn't expect too much realism in the action scenes, or some of the political details but that's fine. It has a good cast in part: Dorff, Kilmer, Bryk (a revelation and star-making performance), McHattie, Bourgeois. But there are casting problems as well: Higgins is weak in a key role, Murino is gorgeous but her accent is rather thick. Davis is completely miscast. Editing could have been better to make the story a bit smoother. Things are unnecessarily unclear at first, with short nonsensical flashbacks. Direction too isn't as good as this story deserves. Still, in the absence of 24 or something like it, XIII is a thrilling movie/mini-series.
Political thrillers with high officials and (ex-)soldiers involved tend to exploit clichés or have multiple unrealistic moments due to over-sophistication and references to past mysticism. The series in question includes the above as well, but thanks to many strong performances (Stephen Dorff, above all, but also Val Kilmer and Caterina Murino) and thrilling stalking scenes let it watch and follow without blah! feelings or embarrassment. True, it is no conceptual creation, or if you believe that none or all in the government administration are crooks and power freaks, then you should definitely skip it :) Otherwise, you could ponder on and over events that could happen if/when you get amnesia - it could happen to everyone in different circumstances.
I saw this 2 part "movie" last night on French TV.
I obviously can't comment on how the actors "sounded" as I was seeing it dubbed into french.
In the french version however, all the characters sounded like they where in character (earlier reviews suggested that Dorf didn't sound like he cared!?).
I admit that I was often thinking "oh it's Jason Bourne", but really it is just the amnesia (and trained assassin) that link the 2.
But this didn't detract from the experience, they are different enough not to step on each other's toes.
Some have complained that the distances traveled are "unbelievable", remember TV and Cinema is about suspension of disbelief, so these things generally don't worry me too much.
Val Kilmer (we don't see him enough) was excellent as the bad guy. Good on him to take the plunge into "evil parts", I look forward to more "evilness" from him, which should be good.
I haven't read the comics, but I would agree that the end of the 2 part series leaves me wanting to know what happens from here. So I guess a full mini series is on the cards at some point in the future ??? Who knows.
I enjoyed the plot, and it was a good way to spend a few hours in front of the TV.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Due the international publication on film forums I found the XIII
conspiracy movie. I didn't know about the books, but did like the
trailer. After watching the first part, I immediately get the second
part to watch.
Its a very good show, in the way it goes upon the nature of people. Getting power, fear and democracy in one hand. It is (again) a one hero movie. But i didn't find it annoying. In some of the named shows in other comments. I think it is not only feeling with our hero within the movie, but also with the American people.
The fights were there, but not overwhelming the movie. It was about the conspiracy and not about the hero. Of course the movie is set in a total American surrounding of patriotism and believe in the good of the American administration. While the movie is just about not believing the men in power.
Perhaps it's our inability to lay to rest the theories concerning our country's Presidential assassinations. Perhaps it's our growing fascination with government plots, which explain why we have so many conspiracies films. Whatever the reason, here is yet another movie which deals with the killing of the U.S. President. In this story which apparently played on T.V. first, we are witness to the assignation of a U.S. president. Ross Tanner (Stephen Dorff) the alleged assassin, escapes, but is badly wounded in the process. Thereafter, he is pursued by the F.B.I, secret service, military officials and nearly anyone who can carry a gun. Unable to remember his identify, Ross stays one step ahead of everyone. In the meanwhile, the audience is subjected to a Cat and Mouse game, but is not privy to know which cat or Mouse is his friend or foe. The entire film is one dark dangerous, action filled ride with Tanner in the cross hairs all the time. A treat for movie fans as we discover that good guy Val Kilmer plays the heavy and is so menacing we believe the hero is over matched. With Stephen McHattie, Lucinda Davis, Jonathan Higgins and Jessalyn Gilsig, playing government officials, it's mind-boggling trying to keep the two sides separated. As a result, this movie will provide audiences with enough excitement, action and black mystery, to rattle the brain. A good film which may yet earn top honors as a terrific Conspiracy movie. ****
I haven't read all the comments, but doesn't it appear that the whole miniseries was a pilot for a potential TV series? It appears that someone looked at the incredible success of "24", and said, "Yeah, I want me some of that!" I can see it now, every week, Tanner digs into one more member of the conspiracy, probably killing him JUST before he is able to extract the name of the next conspirator up the line. Of course, he'll have to have a love interest, so I guess Sam better stock up on condoms and clean sheets! Periodically, Sam will be kidnapped in an effort to capture Tanner, etc. etc etc. I could so write this stuff! If anyone in Hollywood is reading this, I AM available for a modest six-figure salary!
I normally shy away from "video game based" and "comic book based" movies. However since I never read the comic or played the game, allow me to be the unbiased opinion. This TV mini-series was much better than I expected for anything on TV or Cable. If you want much more violence than the censors allow you will have to get a movie ticket to the theater. So all the critics that whine about action and violence aren't considering the limited media format. This movie has a fair amount of action although some technical aspects are off, I would say the acting was very above the standard. Since the movie was shot in 2008, I can only assume they made the president female assuming that Clinton was heading for the White House and ahead in the polls early on in that year. I enjoyed the movie and have ordered the game from a used software store online. Who knows maybe I can find time to read the comic too.
I loved the comic. Really nicely done and interesting story where we
followed XIII through the painstaking puzzling to understand what he
went through and who he was.
Here we're presented with everything from the start, so the surprise effects are all gone. This of course makes the whole setup vanish, and suddenly the miniseries is nothing more than just a Bourne-copy - and very mediocre one too.
The miniseries has sloppy editing, bad acting, a tremendously stupid and boring "conspiracy" and some really nutty 1980's styled scenes. We have a professional "agent" leaving a trail of bodies behind him for anyone to see. He calls up his enemies so they can know he's coming for them. Basically, he's so stupid that we just stops to care.
There are a few nice things in this series though. Stephen Dorph is on his way to become a new Jason Statham. His stunts are good, and he's doing the best he can with the material he has.
Best is however Greg Bryk as Amos - the only intelligent person in the whole thing. I both like the actor AND the characters, which is saying a lot when it comes to this mess.
Overall, this is just something you'd see if you don't have anything else to watch. Otherwise, skip it. It's not worth the time investment.
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