This movie was surprisingly good, for many reasons. The most obvious is probably that the characters develop before, during, and after the presented story, as the film opens at a critical time for both of them and closes with them having changed major parts in their lives.
I expected this to be a glorified version of Madd's Spy vs. Spy, or something of that nature, given the hype. However, it is not at the same pace at all... the violence is not cartoonish, its realistic. The characters are not simple, they are complex. They "have issues" and are both trying to find a better sense of balance in their lives, both do things which they regret... all in all, this is one of the most "human" movies I've ever watched.
Even though the characters are deep, the movie does not try to emphasis it with drawn out scenes with dramatic music or anything, which actually makes it more like watching real people than watching a movie. It also makes for a more powerful effect overall because it is up to the watcher to notice the subtleties.
The acting and directing are very well done, and there is some writing which surprised me in that it showed more about the characters rather than relating directly to the main conflict (I don't want to give too much detail and spoil it). The pacing is good and kept me interested throughout, partially to see what the main characters would do next and partially to see what, if anything, they would learn from the experience.
It is not as "epic" as something like Shawshank Redeption, and doesn't deal with esoteric themes such as Meet Joe Black or ominous themes such as Equilibirum or 1984(the novel), but in a way it is more epic because it deals with normal people who struggle to be beneficial humans despite major mistakes, pressures, and conflicts.
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