The CIA's hunt is on for the mastermind of a wave of terrorist attacks. Roger Ferris is the agencys man on the ground, moving from place to place, scrambling to stay ahead of ever-shifting events. An eye in the sky, a satellite link watches Ferris. At the other end of that real-time link is the CIAs Ed Hoffman, strategizing events from thousands of miles away. And as Ferris nears the target, he discovers trust can be just as dangerous as it is necessary for survival.
- Body of Lies review by Jawbreaker
(3) of (6) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 3
Body of Lies tries and ultimately fails to gel high-level political manoeuvrings with on the ground events in the volatile Middle East. Crowe plays Hoffman who is the handler for DiCaprio’s CIA operative. Both are trying to locate the leader of a terrorist group currently in the midst of a European bombing campaign. So they are both very much under pressure to identify and remove the threat as quickly as possible. While Hoffman operates in relative safety from home, the car or the office, DiCaprio has more tangible dangers to overcome. The interplay between the two main leads is good, although they share very little time onscreen together. Body Of Lies is a demonstration of technology but even more so that the old methods are still effective. For Ridley Scott this is merely just treading water, while I accept that politics and the Middle East are intertwined, a little more focus would have resulted in a better thriller.
If Leonardo DiCaprio speaks fluent Arabic then I'm a banana
- Body of Lies review by RP
(0) of (0) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 3
If Leonardo DiCaprio speaks fluent Arabic and can mingle unobserved in crowded Jordanian / Syrian towns then I'm a banana. And that's only part of the problem here: not only is DiCaprio's role unbelievable, but so is the whole film. Yes, it has its tense moments and it's a reasonable political thriller set in a post-9/11 world – but it's unbelievable. An overweight Russell Crowe plays an overweight Russell Crowe. Leonardo DiCaprio plays a CIA operative saving the world from Muslim extremists. Mark Strong plays the best role as the head of the Jordanian security services. And if that opening scene with the exploding bomb factory was shot in Manchester then I'll eat the aforementioned banana.
The film was directed by Ridley Scott ('Alien', 'Blade Runner', 'Black Rain', Thelma and Louise', 'Black Hawk Down' and a host of others) who does his usual thing with densely realised backgrounds and foreground action and I wish that I liked the film more. But I don't – the plot is over complex and silly: DiCaprio sets up an innocent architect to draw out the leader of an Al Qaeda lookalike organisation, but in fact it's DiCaprio who's being set up by the Jordanians. Satellite / unmanned drone camera shots are added for techno effect, but only add to the lack of realism.
As such thrillers go it's not bad and I wish I could overcome my sense of disbelief to give it a higher score. But I can't, so it gets 3/5 from me.