Did anyone want to make THE INTERNATIONAL? An attempt at cross-pollinating ‘80s JAMES BOND, THE PARALLAX VIEW/’74 and a BOURNE dazzler, it’s reasonably well made, but no one seems especially involved in playing out the machinations of this globe-trotting thriller. Clive Owen is the Interpol agent who stumbles across the nefarious doings. Too bad he can't lay his hands on a grooming kit. Naomi Watts is plying the same case from another angle, but she has so little to do, she reads her lines as if in protest, hoping her agent will do better next time. The supporting players are mostly faceless Euro-types, except for that old smoothie, Armin Mueller-Stahl, who purrs all his lines. Under Tom Tykwer’s clean megging it’s all posh looking, no slice & dice editing, no jiggly camera work, no multi-screen confusion, but without passion, a job of work. Finally, we reach the big set piece, a full-rigged shoot-out @ The Guggenheim Museum, and the film wakes up . . . for a reel. Then it’s back to the mines for more mind-numbing plot revelations. You’ll be shocked, shocked to learn that the big multi-national bank turns out to be involved in arms trafficing & political gamesmanship. Business as usual, just like this film.
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