Sunday, March 22, 2009
Writer/Director Tony Gilroy newest effort is a cross between his own "Michael Clayton", "Ocean's 11", and any Bourne film. The film stars Julia Roberts and Clive Owen as corporate spies duping each other and their respective companies. Unfortunately, it's the audience that ultimately gets duped.
It's a simple story made very complicated by the multiple flashbacks and various scamming going on. The story zigzags across the globe in "Bourne" fashion and has great locations. It's just difficult to follow the timelines. It's like watching a single episode of "Lost" if it was about corporate espionage. On a positive
note, it's a refreshing spy story without guns or car chases that makes you think how far pharmaceutical companies will go to protect a secret formula.
Ms Roberts and Mr. Owen have proven chemistry between them but the games they play and all the mistrust they project loses their credibility with the audience. Paul Giamatti and Tom Wilkinson co-star as the heads of the rival companies locked in a corporate power struggle. Mr. Wilkinson is credible but Mr. Giamatti chews the scenery and is miscast as a company CEO.
There's a final twist to the story that still leaves questions but by that point, you probably won't care anymore. It's all much ado about nothing.