The International

Ooohhh, that Clive Owen!

What is is about this guy? I find him appealing in pretty much anything he does ("Croupier," "Greenfingers," "Inside Man" and "Gosford Park"), even when he is in less than appealing movies ("Children of Men," "Closer" and "Derailed"). As an overly diligent Interpol agent working in concert with a Manhattan Assistant District Attorney, capably played by Australian Naomi Watts ("Eastern Promises" and "The Painted Veil"), he keeps forgetting that Interpol has become simply an investigative arm for local law enforcement agencies, all of whom seem to drop the ball every time he implicates a particular high-profile bank in international arms dealing.

Personally, I was fascinated by the discussions of how vast amounts of money are parlayed into political power; other audience members found that aspect of the film boring. Given today's international economic crisis, I suggest that maybe we should all pay closer attention to these matters. I also found the various methods of assassination interesting: DMSO anyone?

Director Tom Twyker ("Run, Lola, Run") takes us from one iconic location to another in this great travelogue of a movie. I loved the aerial shots of the intercontinental bridge in Istanbul, the views of various museums and government buildings in major world capitols, and I got a big kick out of the climactic (albeit unrealistic) shootout in New York's Guggenheim Museum.

By the way, despite the fairly intricate plot, I was able to make out every word. Let's hear it for a professionally produced sound track! Hip, Hip, Hurray!