Short Review

Rated 4.0

Louis Salinger is an Interpol agent scrambling amid the lethal tangles of a vast trans-national conspiracy involving international banking and the third-world market in weapons. He’s trying to bring the whole thing down, but that’s no simple matter—he has to avoid pre-emptive retaliation from those he would bring to justice, and he has to thread his way past corruption at seemingly every level of the social institutions he’s trying to serve. That’s a provocative setup for this globetrotting suspense thriller with an unmistakable contemporary edge to it. Working from a script by first-time screenwriter Eric Warren Singer, director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) navigates the tale’s extravagantly varied possibilities with a steady, crafty flair, never fully giving in to the preposterousness or the utter madness that hover over a good deal of the story. It helps a lot that Tykwer has Clive Owen on hand to play Salinger. Indeed, the dynamics of Owen’s screen persona—that beleaguered combination of heroic intensity and broken-hearted despair—are an essential part of the film’s efforts at surviving the cynical gloom of its own plot machinations. Paradise Cinema 7 and Tinseltown. Rated R