Vicenarian Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss. Excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.
Roger Ferris is a CIA operative in the Middle East; Ed Hoffman is his control at Langley. Cynicism is everywhere. In Amman, Roger works with Hani Salaam, Jordan's head of security, whose only dictum is "Don't lie to me." The Americans are in pursuit of a cleric who leads a group placing bombs all over Europe. When Hani rebukes Ed's demand that Jordan allow the Americans to use one of Jordan's double agents, Roger and Ed hatch a plan to bring the cleric to them. The plan is complicated by its being a secret from Hani and by Roger's attraction to a local nurse. Satellites and cell phones, bodies and lies: modern warfare. Written by
The film makers have gone to great lengths to import Dutch EMT and firefighter costumes for the Noordermarkt, Amsterdam scene. Unfortunately, they haven't done the same for the fire trucks and ambulances. They don't even slightly resemble the vehicles actually used in The Netherlands, but seem to be American. See more »
I and the public know what all schoolchildren learn, those to whom evil is done, do evil in return. - W.H. Auden
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I watched "Body of Lies" the other night for the first time since having seen it in the theater. This is a well made film that just barely misses the mark of being outstanding.
Russell Crowe is good in this movie, and it's arguably one of the few Crowe movies in which he transforms into his character rather than simply playing himself. DiCaprio is good enough, though he definitely suffers from his ongoing inability to play a character rather than being stuck in his same old mannerisms.
The plot of this movie is quite intriguing. It's a film that revolves around post-9/11 terrorism in the mid-east, with most of the movie taking place in the very places that make the news the most some eight years later: Iraq, Syria, and Jordan. Sadly, the movie predicts the spread of terrorism to Europe (it was filmed after the 7/7 bus bombings in London, and references them, but shows an attack in Amsterdam that brings to mind recent attacks in Paris and Brussels). Its fictional drama mixed with real world terrorism makes for a compelling story.
Unfortunately there's just something about the movie that makes it obvious that it misses the mark just a tad. It might be argued that the studio was trying a bit too hard to make an Oscar worthy picture, but didn't quite pull things together enough. The romantic element of the film feels a bit forced, and despite its strengths it comes across as being a bit more like a made-for-TV drama series than an award worthy feature film.
All in all I'm going with 6/10 stars. It's certainly worth the time to see, but ultimately a good popcorn flick rather than a more substantive film.
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