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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

SYRIANA (2005)

Writer/director Stephen Gaghan ’s tightly wound pic about CIA intrigues, big oil, Mid-East politics and Islamic fundamentalism wants to be a fat & juicy international thriller for people who get their news from the BBC. Not a bad idea. Alas, as drama it is all but inert with a muddled narrative structure, sterile characterizations and obvious ironies vying for our pre-sold delectation. There’s a nice turn from that old lion Christopher Plummer, but the rest of the cast mistakes stupor for seriousness. George Clooney, with extra pounds and the toughest manicurist in town, got Oscar’d for a role anyone could have done. His sly romantic comedy act, at whioch he’s untouchable, goes begging for respect.

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