Info Gluttony

The Last of the Famous International Bankers

Posted in film by echan on February 17, 2009

Despite not having seen a good chunk of Oscar-nominated movies (The Wrestler and Rachel Getting Married have been on my list for ages now), the foul weather put me in the mood for something mindless and stupid this weekend. So, without knowing anything about The International, except that it was a thriller starring Clive Owen and Naomi Watts, I agreed to see it after the girlpack’s plans to watch HJNIY* were further postponed.

After watching The International, I thought that it’s so much easier to review a bad movie, than a good movie. My main complaint with the film is that it was humorless and as cold as the modern architecture that dotted the film. The sinister villian in this film was an arms dealing international bank, the Luxemborgian I.B.B.C.  When this plot point was revealed, I thought, “What an investment bank as villian? The credit crunch is far scarier and destabiling than arms dealing.”

And therein lies the film’s problem; it felt extremely dated. Had it come out before the end of our neo-gilded age, then the bank would have been a plausible villian, now it was just laughable.  Our current brain eating, er, I mean Treasury plundering Zombie Banks, are far more evil, even without hired assassins.

As for the cast, Naomi Watts’ character, a Manhattan D.A., was a throwaway role, and really wasn’t plausible (what local D.A.’s office would let an attorney run off to Italy to find out intel on an arms deal outside of N.Y.C.’s jurisdiction?) Clive Owen was Clive Owen, only without any good lines.

Action wise, I perked up during shoot out in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim (and was very impressed that they built a full replica of the Guggenheim Rotunda). But lack of heft in the script made me want to rewatch the Bourne trilogy as a palate cleanser.

*Yes, even though I can’t bring myself to type out the full title of this Rom Com, I will admit that I want to see it.

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2 Responses

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  1. ToastyKen said, on February 18, 2009 at 9:12 am

    I don’t think I disliked it as much as you did, but another thing came to mind: Clive Owen is terrible at tailing people! He just STARES at them with an intense grimace! Even I would notice if he were tailing me! 😛

  2. this charming man said, on February 18, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Apparently, in the BCCI case (on which the film is based) the Manhattan D.A.’s office did a bit more than review documents in the office…including going to a conference in Cambridge to learn about money laundering. Not sure if they followed drug money to the middle east though. That would seem more a job for the Feds.

    (film review from Morning Edition last Friday, complete with more about the absurdities of the banking part of the plot, and an interview with John Moscow, the ADA who is the inspiration for the character played by Naomi Watts)

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100665205&ft=1&f=94427042

    (good overview of the BCCI investigations)
    http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/1992_rpt/bcci/09ny.htm

    (review and plot background from rotten tomatoes)
    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/vine/showthread.php?t=665249


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