Imagine a bank, a big bank, that has too much power, and can’t be trusted with peoples’ money. No, I’m not talking about Citibank or Washington Mutual. I’m talking about The International, Tom Tykwer’s new and boring thriller about corrupt international banking. Don’t let the word thriller fool you though, this movie was about as exciting as listening to CNN suck up to Obama 24/7.
Clive Owen plays Louis Salinger, an ex-Scotland Yard agent now working at Interpol, investigating fraudulent banks across Europe. Naomi Watts plays Ella, some sort of representative of the New York City district attorney’s office. I’m not sure how she’s relevant to the story, or why the NYC district attorney is paying for her to track down terrorist bankers in Europe, but whatever. The two are working together to expose the dangerous doings of the International Bank of Business and Credit (IBBC). But anyone who’s ever tried to speak out about IBBC has either gone missing, or ended up dead. Spooky, eh?
Tom Tykwer really should have known better too. He’s worked on much better projects, like 1998′s Run Lola Run, and 2002′s Heaven. I’m not sure what he saw in the script by first time writer Eric Singer. There’s nothing remarkable at all about The International. Well, there is a scene where a bunch of bad guys pretty much destroy the entire Guggenheim museum, but that’s all you’re going to get out of The International. Character development is nearly non-existent. Owen performs adequately, but should be weary of being pigeon-holed since he essentially has played the same character in his last few movies. Naomi Watts performs less than adequately, but this seems to be at least partly due to the shite script There’s a whole mess of bad guys that are supposed to be scary (actors like Patrick Baladi, and Armin Mueller-Stahl) in their well dressed suits, cooly talking about selling WMDs to countries like Iran! And Syria! But they fail to impress as any sort of villian. The political relevance gets extremely exasperating. Besides a few decent action sequences, there’s nothing to say about this film. Skip it.