Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Movie Review: Body of Lies

As far as thrillers go, straight off the bat, this is a pretty classy one. I'm a big fan of these newer, political/war/secret service thrillers, so it really touches on my love of the genre, but despite excellent cast and direction, the story falls a little short when the movie should reach its boiling point.

Body of Lies is a political-espionage thriller, which means you're going to see a lot of the swooping in-and-out satellite camera footage that studios love so much these days. Its a great effect, and fortunately with the spacing between every swoop is just enough so that it doesn't get tired.

As for the cast, Leonardo DiCaprio gives another one of his better performances. Since he decided to make better movies than Titanic, I seem to have seen him in a new light. Gone is the sad-sack of his younger days, parading round steamboats and fairly wild interpretations of Shakespeare plays, in are the deep mercenary types, and the undercover cops with Bostonian accents. Its a real transformation. In Body of Lies he portrays a young, but experienced government agent, but unlike most movies, his character makes mistakes, he gets hurt, and he gets emotional. Hes not perfect, and that's what makes the character great. The second blockbuster performance is by the the irascible Russel Crowe, playing the aged, homebound CIA type. The juxtaposition between him talking international security and taking his kids home from school serves to give his character a very powerful feel.

The film progresses in leaps and bounds, which is good, considering the 2 hour 40 mins run time, but youll find there is an occasional full stop where there will be neither action nor excitement, not compelling dialogue. Many times during the movie I switched off, deciding that fiddling with my shirt was more productive. If youre an easily bored person, you might want to stay away from this movie.

All in all, a polished movie, but it needs a few more goings over with the buffer.

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