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This is the type of stuff John Grisham novels and movies used to be popular for. A movie with a constant sense of paranoia in it, in which the 'main heroes' are being chased around and obstructed by higher powers, while all they want to do is to reveal the truth to the world and let Justice prevail. Having said that, I have never been too keen on John Grisham type of movies and this movie most definitely feels like an even less interesting or effective attempt at a John Grisham type of movie.

There are many reasons why this movie never becomes a very interesting or effective one. First of all; it loses its focus pretty early on early. Which starts off as something big soon turns into smaller and seemingly less significant. It keeps going into certain directions with its story and themes but every time you start to think that the movie is going to develop into something solid and truly interesting, it turns around and starts to become about something totally different and less interesting again.

But still the foremost reason why the movie wasn't ever working for me was because of its many plot-developments. They all were incredibly simplistic and I would even describe some of them as childishly simple. It makes the characters look like morons at times and it's always a bad sign when you as a viewer can figure things out way before any of the main characters, that you are supposed to root for and sympathize with.

And that's a big problem for this movie as well really; the main characters just aren't all that likable. Eric Bana always acts and looks depressed when doing a movie like this. Sometimes it works ("Munich" for example) but at others, it's just annoying and tiresome to have to watch. He and all of the other characters are oh so serious and I don't remember seeing him smile, not even once. Not exactly the type of character you would like to hang out with and have a beer with so to speak and it's therefor also hard to ever care for the character.

Because it's hard to care for the characters and the story isn't ever a very engaging one, the tension and paranoia aspects of the movie fall mostly flat as well. It honestly is far more exciting to watch a good English detective series, that usually have a similar type of tone, characters, developments and mystery to it.

Seems to me that the movie was trying to make some points concerning the power and corruption of governments and how it links to terrorism but the movie isn't solid or realistic enough to ever get any of its points across. Ultimately, in the end I don't even really know what this movie was truly trying to do and say with its story anymore, since all of it was lost in the jumbled and disjointed story and way of storytelling.

It's also the type of movie that's trying to come across as something clever and more sophisticated, simply by inserting a whole bunch of scenes in which the characters do nothing but talking, about seemingly important stuff but in essence they really aren't saying anything relevant to the story. It creates a whole bunch of diversions and distractions for the movie, that in the long run don't add enough to either the movie its mystery, excitement or main story at all.

It's a too simplistic and ultimately very ineffective dramatic thriller, that you are better off not watching.

5/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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