The International (2009)


Clive Owen plays an Interpol agent with a grudge, pursuing a multinational banking corporation whose clients include terrorist states and organised crime.

The International is very much in the mould of the Cold War movies of the 1960’s and 1970’s, full of methodical investigations of shadowy conspiracies, listening devices and silenced sniper rifles appearing from hotel windows. In fact it was easy for me to imagine a young Michael Caine playing Owen’s part; in this way it seemed unusual, almost old fashioned compared to the glut of super fast-paced, shaky-cammed action films we’ve all become so accustomed to of late. Clive Owen is his usual watchably intense and dour loose cannon, frustrated by bureaucratic superiors and Naomi Watts is decent if a little irrelevant plot-wise. There is no parkouring over roof tops or bone crunching fist fights, but a shoot out in the Guggenheim is impressively staged and gives some indication of how Owen would fare as 007 if he ever chooses to take up that particular poisoned chalice – quite well in fact, I’d have to say based on this evidence.

It contains little in the way of surprises and its old school style may seem a little too long on talk and short on action for the Bourne generation, but I for one found the concept of a thriller that did not call for the liberal use of Dramamine quite refreshing.



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