Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Movie Review: "Body of Lies"
I am an ardent fan of the cinematic arts. Although I have certain genre preferences, I don’t let that stifle my curiosity and close myself to different flavors of entertainment. That said...I am a huge fan of science fiction, super hero and action movies! Please visit my other blog The Boxed Office for reviews, exclusively, on these types of movies.
Leonardo DiCaprio is all over the place with a performance that is very gritty and intense. He plays very well at always being on the edge ready to fall apart, while being in control. Russell Crowe isn’t given any Oscar material in this film, but certainly makes the role work as he brings every quality needed for the character for us to hate his guts. Mark Strong plays a very good role here as head of Jordanian Intelligence...being both mysterious and menacing.
Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe) is an armchair quarterbacking CIA handler out of Langley that conducts nearly all his business from and earpiece in a cell phone. Things get dicey when he interferes with the operational dealings of DiCaprio...while having total disregard for human life and the manner in which things are done in the local hotspots.
Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio) is the agent always in the thick of the situation. Ferris must track down the leader of a terrorist cell before more attacks happen...while walking a fine line of trust and cooperation with his own boss, Ed Hoffman, and the head of Jordanian Intelligence, Hani (Mark Strong).
Ferris develops a plan to lure his target out, but must deal with the behind-the-back dealings of his boss and hide the truth from Hani, even though Hani has a better intelligence network and is insistent on only one rule for full cooperation...honesty. The action and espionage heat to a full boil when Ferris’s plan backfires, putting an innocent woman at risk, and potentially blowing the only chance he’ll ever have at capturing the leader of a deadly terrorist cell.
Body of Lies is filled to the brim with...lies. The art of deception is alive and well and it begins with how great this movie was despite the way the trailer presented it. There is no room for humor and the movie takes itself very seriously, never letting up on the projection that the situation is dire...and danger is always imminent.
The action is explosive and sometimes graphic adding to the experience of bringing to life some very real elements we live with in the world daily. Although the humor is absent, at least for me, there are some very gratifying moments of exploration between two different cultures in the pursuit of romance that I found to be very interesting.
This movie thinks outside the box on several levels, from the elaborate plan to capture the antagonist, to the ways in which the terrorists deal with the superior technological advantage of those out to get him. The intensity is constant and once grabbed, I was never let go...putting three and a half cinnamon sticks in this very intense cup of tea.