Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The International


This aspires to be sort of The Bourne International, and falls considerably short. Of course, that’s setting the thriller bar pretty high. There are still pleasures to be had here, though the plot is way beyond unlikely and there are some things that just don’t make sense. For instance, do you think it’s a good idea to remove your bullet-proof vest in the middle of a gun battle with Uzis and/or Mac-10s (I don’t know the difference, except that each sprays a lot of lead), particularly when it has just saved your life? That’s what one character here does, apparently simply because the plot called for him to be killed. Clive Owen and Naomi Watts do a good job, but the real star is the Guggenheim Museum … actually a life-sized set of three of the circular floors, with upper or lower parts of the spiral filled in by computer where needed. For a while there they actually had me fooled, with an establishing shot of people walking in and out of the real museum, but when the gun battle really got going it was a certainty that it was a set. No way the directors of the museum would have allowed that much mayhem, even if they promised to clean it all up. And, I have to say, the short documentary on the DVD about the making of this wonderful set held my attention slightly better than the movie did. There was another short concerning the selection of the buildings they used, which were mostly made of glass, and that was also fascinating. Architecture played a big role all around in this film. I wish they’d paid as much attention to plot.