A Masterful Thriller
Release Date: February 13, 2009
Starring: Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, Armin
Mueller-Stahl, and Brian F.
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 118 minutes
Distributor: Columbia Pictures/Sony
Director: Tom Tykwer
Executive Producer: Alan G. Glazer and Ryan
Producer: Charkles Roven, Richard Suckle
and Lloyd Phillips
Writer: Eric Warren Singer
Address Comments To:Michael Lynton, Chairman/CEO
Amy Pascal, Chairman - Motion Picture Group
Sony Pictures Entertainment
(Columbia Pictures/TriStar/Screen Gems/Provident/Triumph Films)
10202 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Phone: (310) 244-4000; Fax: (310) 244-2626
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com/
The movie opens in Berlin, where Interpol Agent Louis Salinger’s partner is meeting with an informant who works at a one of the world’s most powerful banks. Apparently, the bank is involved in laundering money, arms trafficking, murder, and even support of terrorism. As Louis watches helplessly, his partner gets out of the informant’s car and suddenly collapses and dies.
Lou suspects foul play, and his suspicions are confirmed. He teams up with Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Whitman in New York, who has also been investigating the bank with the FBI.
Their investigation leads them to the head of an Italian company, who refused to do business with the bank regarding a missile deal in the Middle East and is running for office to battle corruption. Before the man can help them, however, the bank’s paid assassin kills him at a political rally in Milan.
Lou and Eleanor follow the assassin’s trail to New York. A big gunfight at the Guggenheim Museum leads Lou to take matters into his own hands, starting with an unauthorized wiretap. He gets more than he expected, however.
THE INTERNATIONAL is absolutely riveting. The action is both suspenseful and thrilling. The movie also is provocative, dealing with issues that are both timely and universal. Clive Owen does a super job of playing the haggard, but earnest, Interpol agent. Naomi Watts is excellent as the intelligent, diligent attorney.
Except for the intense gunfight at the museum, the action violence in THE INTERNATIONAL is not very strong or graphic, but it is suspenseful and exciting. The movie contains plenty of foul language, and there is one crude sexual comment, followed by a light joke.
Near the end, the hero is faced with a moral dilemma. He thinks about doing a vigilante act, but hesitates and begins to do the right thing. Then, the decision is taken out of his hands. In the end, therefore, the hero remains a positive role model.
All in all, THE INTERNATIONAL is a provocative, exciting thriller most viewers will find rewarding. The strong violence, especially during the elaborate gunfight, and the crude language warrant a strong caution, however. Viewers should also know that they will sometimes have to pay close attention to the plot in order to follow everything. This viewer did not find that an insurmountable problem, but others might.
THE INTERNATIONAL is riveting. The movie also is provocative, dealing with issues that are both timely and universal. Clive Owen does a super job playing the haggard, earnest, Interpol agent. Naomi Watts is excellent as the intelligent, diligent attorney. There are strong obscenities and bloody shootings (especially in the intense gun battle) that merit real caution. The other moral points are generally good, with a positive view of American law enforcement workers. THE INTERNATIONAL is superb filmmaking. It will put you on the edge of your seat.