Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Body of Lies - a bad story well told

Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott... at the sight of these names I was expecting at least a little bit more than the ordinary little story of the CIA agent Roger Ferris (DiCaprio), who spots spy satellites with bare eyes in the bright of the day, saves CDs with important intelligence information from the fire with, again, bare hands and destroys with, once again, bare hands terrorist camps. The said CIA agent is sent to capture (or optionally, shoot on sight) the terrorist Al-Saleem (Alon Abutbul), who is responsible for a series of suicide bombings in Europe. Needless to say, our bare-handed hero is fucked badly by his superior Ed Hoffman (Crowe), a fat ass REMF* with the nasty habit of pulling strings from distance, who treats everyone as disposable resource and whose list of virtues doesn't include words like 'patience' or 'trust'. Does that sound familiar (from dozens of movies)? 

Both Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe do their roles with their usual perfection, even though their characters are a bit too easy to forget. Mark Strong makes more impression with his brilliant reincarnation as the just as much stereotypical, well dressed and filled with self-control and politeness head of the Jordanian intelligence service Hani Salaam.

It's true that 'Body of Lies' is well done technically, dynamic (even too much, any distraction and turning may cause you to miss some event and to deprive you of the chance to understand something - which, unfortunately, you should already know by now), but the effort put in avoiding any critics or at least making a statement turns it into no more than a regular post-9/11 war-on-terror propaganda integrated into an oversold spy flick.

Summing the above: Too common. Maybe a good choice for a night you might like to spend with something more modest, 'just like that' and generic with lots of explosions, chases and shooting.
* REMF - Rear Echelon Mother Fucker
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