The International review

The plot of thriller The International is decent but although the subject of dodgy banking is topical, it is nothing particularly special. The two main roles are played admirably, but Naomi Watts is little more than a supporting character to Clive Owen’s single-minded driven lead, to which he is well suited.

By far the most impressive aspect of the film is the locations. And it isn’t just the wonderful aerial shots; refreshingly, most of the film is shot on location and it is the backdrops of real buildings, internal and external, streets, alleys, and rooftops, complete with genuine sunshine, that make the film a joy to watch. Architecture is used to great effect, from imposing modern monsters of buildings in Berlin to Ottoman mosques in Istanbul, firmly placing the characters in a foreign but very real, recognisable man-made environment.

Oh, and there’s a big bloody shoot-out in the Guggenheim. Which is brilliant. Conversely, an impressive elaborate studio setup.

4 out of 5

13th Mar 2009


I think the main problem for me was the general plot was rather forgettable and generic. The actors and locations are great (concur muchly about the realism of the Guggenheim scene), but it just wasn't quite enough to keep my attention for the whole 2 hours (which is unnecessarily long, imho). I'd have given it 3/5 at best.

Frances, 13th Mar 2009

I am in agreement with Frances here. Definitely a 3/5 at best, and as was said it was way too generic for a two hour movie. It lacked in the thriller aspect - I heard they had some rewrites and reshoots to make the movie more action-based - which failed as well. Neither a good action nor thriller movie.

I agree with the locations though - they were stunning. Also, I was impressed with the Guggenheim shoot out scene, although it ended a little abruptly for my liking.

trovster, 17th Mar 2009

It's one of those films where one aspect of it---the locations, and the way they were shot---that just blew me away and made up for other shortcomings.

I agree that it's piecemeal at times.

Patrick Griffiths, 19th Mar 2009