Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce
Samir: The only difference between you and him is he knows he’s an ***hole.
Samir (Cheadle) is a former U.S. special operative who seems to have turned to terrorism. The question is, is he a traitor to the U.S., or actually a traitor to those he seems to have joined?
The first hour or so of this movie is pretty standard stuff. Special agents tracking Samir as he gets deeper and deeper into the terrorist cell, bombs, action, etc. Then, there’s an event that takes place which really ups the tension level in Samir’s situation. At that point the movie finally took on some life and became more interesting to me.
Cheadle is good as Samir, but the character really doesn’t seem to be as interesting as he could be. The detectives are definitely less interesting than they could be, especially Roy’s (Pearce) partner. He’s just there to throw out perceived american government viewpoints on torture and war. I guess those are a prerequisite in a movie like this. I think the movie makers have to make sure that we know that they know that the U.S. doesn’t totally have its hands clean in all of this mess. Which is fine, I suppose, it just comes off sounding forced and a bit unnatural in the flow of things.
It’s a slickly made movie, but maybe a little too slick at times. It reminded me of the movie Spy Game in that regard, but without as interesting a plot. I think this movie would have benefitted from being more stripped down, gritty, and visceral.
As I mentioned already, the final 30-40 minutes of the movie were the most entertaining to me, as more emotion and urgency entered into the story. But, getting through the first hour plus of the movie was a bit challenging. If you can do that, the end will be pretty rewarding.
10 – 3 first hour or so being tedious – .3 for being too slickly made + .2 for good performances – .4 for some shallow characters = 6.5