a man can meet his destiny on the road he took to avoid it"
Interpol agent Louis
Salinger (Owen) has been investigating the connection between organised
crime and one of the largest international banks in the world, IBBC, since
his days working at Scotland Yard and he and New York District Attorney
Eleanor Whitman (Watts) finally think they have an insider who can lead
to a prosecution. When that witness is assassinated along with their connection
to him, Salinger has to find another way in before the investigation is
shut down but this could be more dangerous than he ever imagined.
With the collapse
of the world banking system, the release of a movie that deals with the
corrupt workings of a fictional bank could have been better timed but does
'The International' have enough to write the cheques?
The financial crisis
that has gripped the world will definitely breed many a story from Hollywood
but the first to cast a bank as a villain during this time bringing us a
plot involving organised crime, corruption and murder is 'The International'
and for the most part it succeeds.
Written by Eric
Singer and directed by 'Perfume: The Story of a Murderer' helmer Tom Tykwer,
'The International' takes aspects of real life, the famed BCCI case, and
the fictional to combine them into an international financial thriller.
Here we have a committed Interpol agent called Louis Salinger who as been
investigating the connection between organised crime and one of the world's
largest bands, IBBC. Having finally made a break through, Salinger and New
York District Attorney Eleanor Whitman have an insider who is planning to
blow the whistle but when that informant is lost the very powerful people
involved turn their attention to Salinger and Whitman.
Shot in New York,
Berlin, Milan and Istanbul, the film tries to be a grittier, more realistic
version of a Bond or Bourne movie but while the action and intrigue are
up to scratch, there is something lacking in the conclusion. What 'The International'
does well is to create a story that is contempory but then offer no answers
to the situation. While you could say that there is nothing that the authorities
can do and that law enforcement it fighting a losing battle, this is a slightly
bleak approach to a subject matter that is very relevant at the moment.
Some story shortcomings
aside, 'The International' is made all the more watchable because of the
performances and one key action sequence. Clive Owen continues to show that
he could have been James Bond with ease and Naomi Watts shows that she is
an actress of supreme talent but could have been given a little more to
do with her role. There is also good support from Armin Mueller-Stahl and
Ulrich Thomsen. The action sequence set in the Guggenheim Museum in New
York is just a stunning piece of action cinema and could be one of the great
sequences in the genre.
is an intriguing, contempory story wrapped up in an action adventure. While
it doesn't offer any answers or solutions to the current financial problems
and the good news is that Clive Owen doesn't solve them with guns and explosives
like he might have done in the 80s, this is still a good thriller that just
about cashes its cheque.
The Blu-Ray disc presents the
movie in High Definition wide screen 2:40 up to 1080p, with Dolby TrueHD
5.1 surround sound.
The International Experience:
Picture in Picture
Watch the movie with picture-in-picture interviews, behind the scenes
footage and commentary about key scenes throughout the film.
Commentary with director
Tom Tykwer and writer Eric Singer
The director and writer talk passionately about 'The International'. This
chatty and informative track gives you an insight into the making of the
film, the different locations, the thought about the story and the performances
from the cast. This is a track that is well worth listening to.
Salinger and Whitman extended
scene (11.23 mins/High Definition)
Watch this extended scene but it suffers from the lack of a commentary
track or introduction to say why parts of the scene were removed.
Making the International
(30.07 mins/High Definition)
Director Tom Tykwer, producers Charles Roven, Richard Suckle and Lloyd
Phillips, writer Eric Singer and stars Clive Owen and Naomi Watts talk
about the making of 'The International'. With sections covering the influences
of the story, the BCCI comparison, the locations, iconic buildings and
the cast, this is a good featurette.
Shooting the Guggenheim
(6.32 mins/Standard Definition)
Director Tom Tykwer, art director Sarah Horton and production designer
Uli Hanisch talk about building a full size version of the inside of the
Guggenheim Museum on a set in Berlin.
The Autostadt (5.04 mins/High
Director Tom Tykwer, producers Charles Roven and Lloyd Phillips and production
designer Uli Hanisch talk about using the VW head quarters in Germany
as the stand in for the fictional IBBC.
Please the disc in an Internet enabled Blu-Ray player or PS3 and gain
extra features from the BD Live service
A new function of BD-Live, which allows you and friends to instant message
during the movie
Previews of 'Angels & Demons', 'The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3', 'Fired Up!',
'2012', 'Year One' and 'Ghostbusters'
The Blu-Ray treatment for 'The
International' is very good. With the picture-in-picture and the commentary
both been excellent and the featurettes covering most aspects of the film's
production, this is a good package for fans of the movie.
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