Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Body of Lies (2008)

Director: Ridley Scott

Writers: William Monahan, David Ignatius

Composer: Marc Streitenfeld

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong, Golshifteh Farahani, Oscar Isaac, Ali Suliman, Alon Aboutboul, Vince Colosimo, Simon McBurney

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Trust no one. Deceive everyone.

Plot: A CIA agent on the ground in Jordan hunts down a powerful terrorist leader while being caught between the unclear intentions of his American supervisors and Jordon Intelligence.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

Ridley Scott, while not always on fire with every film, knows how to make an interesting film.  Leonardo DiCaprio is a strong, solid actor.  Russell Crowe is hit or miss with me and he's a miss in this one.  His Southern accent was dodgy in spots.  It occurred to me that it might be easier for foreign actors to get this accent over a middle America one which would explain why so many of them attempt it (but still usually fail).  Why couldn't he just keep his usual accent?  Anyway, the second strongest performance goes to Mark Strong as Hani.  He played a great character and he sold it with confidence. When Aisha is introduce I groaned at the initial appearance of a love interest which would undoubtedly be used against Roger (DiCaprio).  Couldn't they have gotten a similar end with a different means?  Nevertheless, the picture has a good conclusion but the film isn't without a few nitpicks, namely some of the things Ed (Crowe) does but he does have a nice finish.  I just didn't like how they dragged out the final question of what he's going to do with Roger.  Don't try to trump up some suspense and be just like every other thriller, just let it go quickly for a change.  It's a smart film that sometimes loses a little balance on the high wire but it's ultimately a fun ride thanks to Scott's juggling of all the pieces along with strong performances from DiCaprio and Strong.

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