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Rated 3.03 stars
by 406 people


ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Boring and Confusing
by Diana Saenger

Thereís more bad news about a bank, only this one is fictional. Itís the International Bank of Credit and Commerce (IBCC), the biggest villain in The International. I was disheartened that even the heavyweight talents of Clive Owen and Naomi Watts couldnít pull this thriller out of the doldrums.

Owen plays Interpol agent Louis Salinger. Heís working undercover with a partner who dies right before a transaction is about to go down. Louis must now find ďwho done it,Ē and he enlists the help of Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Whitman (Watts). These two are soon deep into their investigation, but what they do -- and where they are -- is a constant puzzle.

The story sends the investigators globetrotting through about five European countries plus New York City. In each destination thereís a multitude of shadowy characters. Who are they and whose side are they on? No one knows. The entire plot is as thick as molasses. Since you have no idea whatís itís really about, youíre left to watch the two main characters. Unfortunately, because we know practically nothing about Louis and Eleanor, itís tedious and boring.

Owen is always captivating on screen. Heís impressive here in his delivery, but has little to work with. Although Watts is a fine actress, her character lacks any passion or emotion. A short scene  where sheís at home with her husband and child only adds more confusion to this convoluted story. Armin Mueller-Stahl plays the movieís one interesting character, Wilhelm Wexler, a former colonel in the East German secret police whoís somehow mixed up with the bank, its killers, mafia and drug lords.

While itís hard to find fault with Tom Tykwerís (Run Lola Run, Perfume) direction, I think newbie screenwriter Eric Singer bit off more than he could chew with this script. However, thereís one long exciting scene in the middle of the film. Itís a big gun battle that takes place in n New York Cityís Guggenheim Museum.

 The International is so confusing I would rather stand in a long bank line than have to watch it again. Originally scheduled for release last year, I can see why it was held back.

(Released by Columbia Pictures and rated ďRĒ for some sequences of violence and language.)

Review also posted at www.reviewexpress.com .


                                                                                                                                                                               
 
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