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This movie had a hard time holding my interest. Not necessarily because it's bad but more so because it all was being a tad bit too generic, even down to its look and not all that interesting to watch.

It's just a far too typical movie. Once you have seen a few decent political-crime-thrillers already, there is no reason for you to watch this movie as well. It adds nothing new to the genre really and besides is hardly being the best that the genre has to offer.

It's not that the movie is too predictable but you still pretty much know how the movie is going to play out and develop. You know not all things are what they seem and you know that at some point the main character will get framed or put into a tight spot, he can't easily get out of. In that regard this movie does far too little surprising and pretty much sticks to the familiar genre formula.

Some of the tension, mystery or drama might had still worked out, if only I would cared some more about the story or any of its characters. As far as political orientated thrillers go, this one just isn't all that interesting or clever enough with its story. It's a bit too dry to watch and never involving enough. Besides, the story features far too many needless distractions in it, that distract from its main plot line and add nothing good to the movie. It causes you to feel even less interested and involved with this movie.

Basically the one thing the movie still has going for it is its cast. It has a pretty impressive cast in it, with actors like Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jeffrey Wright and Barry Pepper involved. You might wonder how all of these find actors ended up in such a mediocre movie. The answer might be Allen Hughes, who is a pretty big name director. They probably thought that his involved with this movie might mean it could work out as something classy and special, even though it's script was a very generic one. But I really don't know what happened or what went wrong during production already but the movie really looks and feels like it got directed by a first time director, who only might have had some prior experience directing stuff for TV. Perhaps it's true he needs his twin brother Albert to deliver a good movie, who also is a director he used to work with on all of his previous earlier productions.

But really, the cast of course still does a good enough job. Mark Wahlberg is being Mark Wahlberg again but luckily Russell Crowe is there to spice things up a little bit more. He sort of is the main 'villain' of the movie and it's actually a weird thing to note that Crowe so often gets picked to play the hero instead. Not that he's bad at it, on the contrary but his look and voice always seems far more suitable for a more evil and villainous part. Luckily he occasionally does still plays a villain, as he does in this movie. I further more also liked Jeffrey Wright in his role, who's suddenly starting to look very old by the way.

It honestly isn't the worst movie you could watch. As a matter of fact, when you catch on TV some time, when nothing else is one, you might as well watch it and afterward you most likely won't feel like this movie wasted your time. Despite all criticism, it remains a perfectly watchable movie and it never becomes a terrible one. Problem is that it's being far too generic and doesn't stand out in any way to truly consider this to be a great movie, by any stretch of the imagination.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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