Number of Times Seen – Twice (30 Dec 2008 and 3 Jul 2018)
Brief Synopsis – A covert operative in the Middle east tries to make progress but must constantly deal with the politics of both the Americans and Jordanians
My Take on it – This is a film that takes a great idea and unfortunately doesn’t really know what to do with it.
That unfortunately causes a lot of problems since the lack of focus causes the viewer to lose interest in everything that is going on.
The story itself gets very convoluted along the way since the situation in the Middle East has not gotten any simpler over the years and remains in constant flux.
They do a nice job of showing how complex things are in the Middle East especially when having to deal with suspected terror activities where no one seems to truly know what is going on around them.
I think that both Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe were miscast in this film and neither manages to let their characters do much to make overall changes in the way things are run.
They manage to keep the action sequences quite thrilling and suspenseful which helps a bit but still doesn’t manage to keep things as entertaining as one would hope.
If the storyline would have been more focused, I think this might have worked much better.
Bottom Line – Interesting idea that just doesn’t manage to stay interesting because it gets too convoluted along the way. DiCaprio and Crowe both seem pretty miscast in their roles here. Does a nice job showing how complicated things truly are when dealing with terrorist activities. The action scenes are done quite well, but it would have worked much better if things had felt more focused.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When Ferris first meets with Hani, he is asked about what he has heard about Hani’s unit of intel gathering and interrogation methods. He responds by saying “finger-nail factory”. Mark Strong was in Syriana (2005) and tortured George Clooney’s character by pulling out his finger-nails. (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)
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