Friday, August 29, 2014

No Shark

Anton Corbijn's music videos include Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence," U2's "One," Danzig's "Dirty Black Summer," and Nirvana's "Heart Shaped Box."

His Joy Division movie is really cool. The American (2010) is cool to look at. I also don't like espionage thrillers or anything from the spy genre. So far the exception is Zero Dark Thirty (2012, Kathryn Bigelow).

Anton Corbijn has a distinct quality when photographing European exteriors. He's great with water, imposing cube structures, and exotic urban backdrops. In A Most Wanted Man (2014, Anton Corbijn), Hamburg through his eye frequently shifts from overcast bleak concrete jungles and elevated rail trains to pitch black nights bleeding with bright oranges or greens from street sources.

A Most Wanted Man also has Corbijn flavor due to score by Herbert Grönenmeyer. Dark and cold.

Deceptively this movie wants you to think it functions as a post 9/11 terrorist manhunt procedural, which it does. But, it's not traditionally equipped with an attached clear cut resolution. Phillip Seymour Hoffman stars as GÜNTHER BACHMANN, a forlorn, jaded, chainsmoking bureaucrat German government spy. Günther's completely immersed in a downtrodden, messy, frustrating career. But he's one of  the best in the world at what he does.

Günther tracks a minnow ISSA KARPOV and gets his barracuda DR. FAISEL ABDULLAH, but he doesn't get his shark. There is no shark. This is a Phillip Seymour Hoffman vehicle driven toward a down ending twist that makes sense as apt for the maestro of the dark and cold, Corbijn.

No one else in this movie is any match for Günther. He has no problem getting the Chechin Jihadist to turn; nor, the one funneling the money to Al Qaeda that the American's are also after; or, even the fucking social worker for terrorists ANNABELLE (Rachel McAdams). I love Hoffman in this.

But I didn't get a lot out of this film.

Cut and dry, if I have to choose a single factor to judge whether or not I think a film is good, let's say it is whether or not I want to watch it again. So, this isn't a good movie at all. I was very bored. Movies should be an escape from reality, but watching this I wanted to escape the theatre to reality.

I didn't get the romantic tension between the terrorist and his lawyer either. He's Muslim and she's played by blond Rachel McAdams. How's that going to work? And how does Muslim Russian dude get money to live off of? Seriously, am I supposed to buy that he doesn't want the 10 million euros? I guess.

This movie just felt like a lame diversion and waste of time. Sorry, I respect that there are some people that like simple good spy flicks, but that will never be me.


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