Viewed – 11 July 2012 DVD
Hollywood loves this kind of thriller. Shady government organisation, exotic locales, rookie agent out to prove himself … etc etc. It’s been done to death. Here though we have Ryan Reynolds’ newbie CIA agent looking after a safe house where rogue agent Denzel Washington is taken for interrogation after being on the run for several years. Yet people are out to kill him and soon enough it’s up to Reynolds to find out if Washington really is the bad guy everyone his making him out to be.
In the style of a Tony Scott movie without Tony Scott, this is all sun-drenched African setting, slick photography and punchy action. Yet beneath the surface is a very derivative and predictable plot held together by adequate rather than decent performances. I was here for Denzel, one of the best in the business and although he’s ok, his performance is rather subdued and his character difficult to sympathise with. Reynolds fairs better in a more demanding role as the rookie, and supporting cast including Vera Farmiga (Source Code) and Brendan Gleeson are also not bad either.
So this was still enertaining despite such short comings, and as a typical espionage thriller, ticked enough boxes to pass the time well … but all in all, would have benefited from fresher material and stronger performances to shine in an otherwise crowded genre.
Verdict: 3 /5