You know those suspense thrillers that have such complex plots that you have no idea what’s going on in the movie, but you don’t care because you just want the good guys to kill the bad guys? That’s exactly what you can expect from’The International.”
The only way to completely understand the plot of this movie is to pay attention to every single word and know the names of all the characters.
I did that pretty well for the first hour but gave up because watching a movie shouldn’t feel like a BCS lecture.
Basically, Interpol agent Louis Salinger (Clive Owen) and Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Whitman (Naomi Watts) suspect the International Bank of Business and Credit of conducting illegal activities.
You don’t need to know the details of exactly what the bank is doing, just that important people are getting killed, and Owen and Watts are tracking down the bad guys there are several of them, but it’ll be clear who’s a bad guy and who’s not to bring justice.
The very first clip reels you into the story, but after that, the beginning of the movie is a bit slow because the plot is being set up. The first half consists of mostly conversations between Salinger, Whitman and 15 other people. The action doesn’t kick in until the second half.
By following the money, Salinger and Whitman are led to Berlin, Milan, New York and Istanbul. There’s some nice scenery of the locations, especially during the Italian presidential rally in Milan and the final chase between Owen and the CEO of the bank in Istanbul.
Owen looks pissed-off throughout the entire movie, usually because nobody believes what he says. Other times it’s because the bad guy got away or someone just shot his earlobe.
Watts’s character wasn’t really necessary. She was probably cast to make up for the movie’s lack of female characters (besides the nameless secretaries). Plus, every protagonist needs a sidekick.
You might expect Owen and Watts to hook up at some point, but Watts’s character is married with kids.
That might not stop other people from hooking up with Owen, but I liked how the movie focused on the central plot and didn’t get sidetracked with some kind of unnecessary romance like many other action films.
The biggest disappointment was that there wasn’t as much action as I thought there would be. There’s a lot of Owen following the bad guys with suspenseful music in the background, but most of those scenes end with poor conclusions.
However, there is one action scene that is by far the best in the entire movie. Despite a long setup (with Owen following the bad guy first), the finish was more than satisfactory.
The scene takes place in the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Though a replica was built to film the shootout, the spiraling floors inside of the building were perfect for the gunfight and the chase. I enjoyed this scene the most, even though I had to watch blood literally spill out from someone’s neck, and Owen trying to stop the blood with his bare hands.
There was also a moment where Owen had to physically fight a bad guy who was shot in the shoulder but was not dead yet, and Owen pushes the bullet with his finger into the bad guy’s shoulder even more, causingblood to gush out.
So the question is, should you see this movie? If you have midterms and papers coming up, I’d say skip ‘The International” and watch it when it’s out on DVD this summer.
If you’re in love with Clive Owen, then definitely catch it while it’s still in theaters. He can be pretty hot when he’s pissed-off.
Weng is a member of the class of 2011.