The International (2009) starring Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Ulrich Thomsen, Brían F. O'Byrne, Michel Voletti, Patrick Baladi directed by Tom Tykwer Movie Review

The International (2009)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Clive Owen in The International (2009)

The IBBC Identity

Interpol agent Louis Salinger (Clive Owen) is working on a case involving the International Bank for Business and Credit (IBBC) when his partner drops dead in front of his eyes following an under cover meeting. With his acquaintance Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Whitman (Naomi Watts) they set about getting answers as their investigations in to the IBBC raised up lots of criminal activity but a very powerful organization with the ability to control politicians and government agencies. It leads to Salinger and Whitman travelling around the globe as they try to bring IBBC down all the time having to run for their lives.

"The International" is entertaining enough, we have a couple of good looking people going from country to country, fearing for their lives because of a powerful organization wants to silence them whilst they want to expose the organization's criminal activities which range from money laundering to missile buying as well as murder. The trouble is that whilst the storyline may be original the concept is almost as old as cinema itself and it makes "The International" incredibly familiar.

Naomi Watts in The International (2009)

The trouble is that when a movie is this familiar it needs to be tight, smart, and action packed and "The International" doesn't quite raise the bar in each of those areas enough. It certainly tries and we have scenes such as Salinger finding a puncture wound on his dead colleague when the autopsy says heart attack but it just isn't smart and sharp enough to wow us and be anything more than familiar. It is the same when of course Salinger and Whitman go on the run, yes there is style and energy but not enough for it to stand out.

The most disappointing part of all this is actually the lack of character depth as not a single character is given any back story or layers to make them more than pawns being pushed around the screen. It makes it a movie with plenty of recognizable actors but none of them delivering to their full potential. This is most certainly the case when it comes to Clive Owen who never once brings all of his charisma to the role.

Don't get me wrong as "The International" is still an entertaining movie and on par with many movies but you expect more and it never delivers it. What it does deliver is style which is down to director Tom Tykwer which makes up for some of the movies other inadequacies.

What this all boils down to is that "The International" is entertaining but you want more and it never manages to deliver that more to make it anything more than just a familiar action, thriller.