Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Movie: The International

The International tells a cynical story of international bankers selling weapons, promoting political chaos, undermining governments, and generally making the world a worse place for everybody. Rich white businessmen in cool suits and fantastic buildings are the villians. A rumpled, world-weary cop badly in need of a shave is the hero. Okay, that all sounds predicable, but there are things to like about this political thriller.

1. There is a great shootout in the Guggenheim Museum that ought to catapult into the top ten of movie shootouts. A very exciting bit of performance art.

2. Very cool modern architecture is used to great effect, especially the headquarters of the evil international bank in Luxembourg, and the Italian alpine lakeside headquarters of an international arms manufacturer. Old architecture in Istanbul, Turkey, provides the setting for a rooftop chase. If you travel to Istanbul, find the neighborhood where walkways are built onto the roofs of the old part of town.

3. Five pithy lines of dialogue.

"I'm more comfortable tense."

"Character is easier kept than recovered."

"Sometimes a man finds his destiny on the road he took to avoid it."

"There's the difference between truth and fiction: fiction has to make sense."

"Sometimes the hardest thing in life is knowing which bridge to cross and which bridge to burn. I'm the bridge you burn."

"When there is no way out, go further in."

4. The corporate assassin. He's ordinary and even has a physical handicap, but he's the model of professional competence.

5. Clive Owen. He's a natural as the dirty hero.



When I first heard about this movie, I was excited to see it because the director did Run, Lola, Run (which I love). Then I saw the ads which made it look tedious and predictable. I'm glad to hear it is still worth watching! Now I just need to get to the theater.
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