May 16, 2005

Confusing remake, but powerful performance

3 out of 5 stars

This film is a remake and not a great one at that. The original was set in the vietnam war, with the chinese as "The Enemy". This modern version is set against the backdrop of the Gulf War and this time "The Enemy" is not communism but rather capitalism. This irony, however, will be lost on anyone who watches the film. The idea of a large multinational company trying to control the government to extend its influence over the world is now quite common-place. As such, once you have figured out the background story, the plot becomes fairly predictable.

The same, however, cannot be said for the acting. Denzel Washington and Liev Schreiber give powerful performances, ranging from anger over fear to sheer hopelessness. Their characters are portrayed with raw emotion giving us an insight into the emotional cocktail brewing inside them throughout the movie.

I must say, I found the film confusing at times unable to follow the reasoning behind certain character decisions. It felt in part as if bits of the film had been left out after editing that were vital to the storyline.

Though this film is powerful and dramatic, it's rather dull in terms of plot and thrill. The only upside is that I now want to watch the original.

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