American oil companies Connex and smaller Killen are undergoing a merger, the new company named Connex-Killen. The move is in response to Connex losing a number of oil fields in the Persian Gulf region as Prince Nasir Al-Subaai, his country's foreign minister, and the oldest son of the Emir and thus the heir apparent to the throne, signed a contract with the Chinese instead. As Killen somehow managed to get the contract for the oil fields in Kazahkstan, the merger would give Connex-Killen additional control of the industry in the Middle East. Connex's retained law firm, headed by Dean Whiting, assigns Bennett Holiday to demonstrate to the US Department of Justice that due diligence has been done to allow the merger to proceed i.e. that the merger would not break any antitrust regulations. The US government is unhappy with Prince Nasir's decision to award the contract to the Chinese, and in combination with issues around illegal weapons, the CIA assigns field agent Bob Barnes, who has ...Written by
Roger Ebert's theory about the film's Byzantine oil-related plotlines was that the U.S. and China had a secret deal to buy up and ship oil from Kazakhstan without actually drilling for any of it, and that the film's merger was a paper deal to provide legal cover for these actions. See more »
At the beginning of the movie, when the woman changes her clothes and puts pants on, she also changes from high heels to sneakers. When she walks away, her shoes sound like high heels. See more »
The Yellow Rose of Texas
Traditional American folk song
[Instrumental heard when Janus receives award for Oilman of the Year] See more »
Beware, Genius At Work
Maddening and infuriating but also fascinating like most things we don't understand when we're told we should. I kept hearing people around me whispering - Who's that? - What are they talking about? - William Hurt!? I haven't shoosh people in a movie theater in years but I did throughout "Syriana". The most compelling aspect is that I felt let into something and hear things I shouldn't. They're all baddies one way or another but then, what else is new. Stephen Gaghan, the writer director, devices a devilish web for us to get lost into. I was mesmerized by his self assuredness and although I didn't have any kind of emotional connection with "Syriana" whoever she or it is, I couldn't dismiss the experience so, well done, cinema comes in all shapes and flavors.
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