Movies 2009 #22 The International

I could spend an hour coming up with goofy taglines for The International. Stuff along the lines of:

“A pulse-pounding thriller ripped from the pages of The Economist!”

Sadly, I’ve got more important things to do with my night (like writing this review and doing a bit of design work,) but it’s nice to know that goofy project is out there for me should I decide to take up the gauntlet.

Anyway, the above is actually a pretty fair description of the film. It touches on pretty much every section of The Economist (global finance, business, international politics, etc.) If that doesn’t sound too exciting, just ignore the whole intro. It’s actually a gripping thriller and since it’s focused on the banking industry (and a highly leveraged bank, teetering on the edge of collapse,) it’s eerily topical.

Directed by Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, The Princess and the Warrior) and starring long-time favorite Clive Owen (I’ve been a fan since seeing Croupier ten years ago), The International globe trots its way through its two hour running time with real style. The movie’s brains, fine acting, solid cinematography, great locations and Tykwer’s solid direction all add up to a winner.

It also features one of the most ridiculous, but satisfying, gun battles in recent memory- twenty minutes of bullets flying around and destroying the Guggenheim. I read about it in ArtNews a few months ago so it was a ton of fun to finally see it in full bloom and it didn’t disappoint in any way. It was wall to wall action and seeing such an iconic building wrecked (even as a set), bullet by bullet was perversely fun.

All in all, The International is recommended and if you’re a museum rat like me, then you’ve got to see if for the Guggenheim shootout alone.

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