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The International (2009) R 118min

March 2nd, 2009 by Maxim · 1 Comment · 7,926 Views


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The plot: An Interpol agent Louis Salinger (Clive Owen) and Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Whitman (Naomi Watts) are trying to bring to justice a bank that had become an institution of choice for international organized crime and involved in international arms trade. They are unable to get any potential witnesses to talk – anyone who had ever moved against this bank had either died “of natural causes” or disappeared. Salinger’s and Whitman’s investigation takes them from Berlin to Milan to New York to Istanbul, but more people begin to die as they get closer.

The good: There was pretty good shoot-out in the Guggenheim museum in New York. I liked the part of the plot that explains that the whole world needs banks like International Bank of Business and Credit to satisfy their imperialistic ambitions of controlling the world through its debt – this is what makes it similar to Lord Of War. International locations were pretty nice – made me want to go and visit them, especially Istanbul. Good performance by Armin Mueller-Stahl who plays the ex-Stasi handler and intelligence advisor for the International bank. Good cinematography – easy to watch (no shaky camera) and some nice visuals too. Clive Owen is well cast and brings a lot of gravitas, confidence and determination to the screen.

The bad: Cliche characters (especially Interpol, police and the villains. Oh, wait… that’s everybody!), most of the dialogs and music. Clive Owen… I mean, Salinger walks around Istanbul and Berlin with a gun in his hand, but nobody pays any attention. Naomi Watts all of a sudden began to look older. I don’t think she was into her character here. I like her but this was probably one of her worst performances. The movie seems like a bad spy movie, not an “investigators following on the trail of a criminal”. The plot is very generic and the bank’s scheme to rule the world is not well explained. “Oh, so you want to rule the world? That makes sense. You are bastards. I will bring you to justice. Now back to the foot-chase!”. “The consultant” assassin was too easy to track. Salinger’s “I want some fucking justice!” could pretty much be the tag line for the movie. The ending was expected and it’s a good, logical way to end it, but the director also wanted to satisfy audience’s blood-lust as well.

The summary: This movie is similar to the Lord of War, only latter was way better. Wait for DVD.

Memorable quotes:

Wexler: The difference between truth and fiction is the fiction has to make sense.

Salinger: Sometimes you find your destiny on the road you took to avoid it.

Salinger: Don’t you fucking die on me.

The cast: Louis Salinger - Clive Owen | Eleanor Whitman - Naomi Watts | Wilhelm Wexler - Armin Mueller-Stahl | Jonas Skarssen - Ulrich Thomsen | The Consultant - Brian F. O’Byrne | Detective Bernie Ward – Jack McGee | Detective Iggy Ornelas – Felix Solis 

The crew: Director - Tom Tykwer (Paris, je t’aime) | Writer – Eric Singer | Producers – Terence Chang, Alan Glazer, Jeffrey Lurie, John Woo (Paycheck, Hostage, Windtalkers, Mission: Impossible II, Face Off, Broken Arrow etc) and more | Original music – Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek, Tom Tykwer | Cinematography – Frank Griebe | Film Editing – Mathilde Bonnefoy | Relativity Media | Atlas Entertainment | Papillon Productions | Rose Line Productions | Siebte Babelsberg Film | Studio Babelsberg

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Rated 3/5 on Mar 2 2009
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Tags: Action · Foreign · Germany · Movies · Thrillers/Suspense · UK · USA

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Claudio // Jul 14, 2015 at 7:26 am

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    When I was high school, one of my engilsh teachers gave an assignment to read a classic and do an oral report on it. One of my classmates did his on Catcher in the Rye and told us (out of class) that how raw it was. Of course, we all wanted to read it after that. I finally got my hands on it and, by the time I was finished, decided it was the best thing I’d ever read. I don’t remember what I read for that assignment.

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