Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Bad bank, good thriller
Shady business deals involving staggering amounts of money, suspicious businessmen in nice suits, and a handful of underpaid civil servants trying to blow the lid off unsavory international banking practices: it's all here in The International, a 2009 thriller starring Clive Owen and Naomi Watts, now available on DVD.
Initially complicated and a little dry, The International ultimately develops into a fine, gripping thriller, especially for those who value intelligence and sharp direction. Director Tom Tykwer realizes that huge action scenes aren’t the movie world’s only source of thrills and suspense, preferring to tighten the screws on viewers via observation and character-based moments. As a result, the few action scenes on hand (most notably, a memorable sequence set in the Guggenheim Museum) have significant impact. If Alfred Hitchcock had directed a few more international political thrillers toward the end of his career, he probably would have turned out something quite a bit like The International.
The film looks and sounds amazing on standard DVD and there are a variety of fascinating extra features, as well as a commentary track. Give this one a whirl.