Blu-ray The International [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray 4659221),
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The International [Blu-ray]
Region 1 USA/CA (
Released in a post-globalization economy teetering on the brink of a depression, THE INTERNATIONAL admirably stays in step with its time. Screenwriter Eric Singer hangs this man-against-the-machine action-thriller not on the Russians, North Koreans, or turncoats in the C.I.A., but on the I.B.B.C., an international bank that wields power through crippling debt. With villains like these, viewers fretting over their own mortgage rates will find themselves rooting zealously for these crooked financiers to fall hard. Interpol agent Louis Salinger (Clive Owen) and his partner, New York Assistant D.A. Eleanor Whitman (the somewhat underused Naomi Watts), are consistently stonewalled by local law enforcement in their attempt to close in on the bank's insiders. The conflict deepens two-fold as Salinger discovers not only how wide the bank's nefarious influence spreads, but how loosely he will act within legal boundaries to get his man. Owen elevates the at-times standard espionage plot devices with his now trademark (but always riveting) me-against-the-worldisms: his hard-edged focus and steely moral clarity. Armin Mueller-Stahl also stands out in the cast as a weathered ex-communist revolutionary now finding himself in the epicenter of capitalist corruption.
With spirited but tight direction, Tom Tykwer (of RUN, LOLA, RUN and THE PRINCESS AND THE WARRIOR fame) emphasizes longer action sequences and a more developed narrative arc than many contemporary post-BOURNE IDENTITY thrillers. The film's centerpiece--an incredible shoot-out in the Guggenheim Museum with flying plaster, shattering installations, and shifting loyalties--reads like a disaster movie for the highbrow set as art lovers everywhere will experience a perverse thrill watching the museum's famed spiral shot up by I.B.B.C. thugs.
- for some sequences of violence and language
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): SPE29211
Brian F. O'Byrne, Clive Owen, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Naomi Watts
"Tom Tykwer's glossy, high finance conspiracy thriller is a spectacular looking film with an unsettling intensity."
"THE INTERNATIONAL gets high marks for timeliness....It's a well-made and handsome drama....Clive Owen does a fine job..."
3 stars out of 4 -- "The movie has a scene in it Hitchcock might have envied, a gun battle ranging up and down the ramps of the Guggenheim Museum in New York....The visuals are terrific..."
"Shot by Tykwer's usual cinematographer Frank Griebe, THE INTERNATIONAL exhibits noticeable visual style as it gallivants around the world, and it also has some solid action sequences."
Los Angeles Times
"THE INTERNATIONAL is in many ways a throwback to the monochrome urban thrillers of the 1970s, with the added topical twist of having a diabolical financial institution at its center....The compulsively watchable Owen makes for an ideal leading man..."
4 stars out of 5 -- "[I]n Tykwer's assured hands, and boasting dazzling photography, THE INTERNATIONAL rises tot he top of the espionage pile."
"Owen supplies the needed center of gravity....Owen has proved himself the thinking man and woman's action hero, serving up brains and brawn in a hypnotic wrapper."
"Both Watts and Owen give solid performances as determined investigators, but it's the chemistry between them that makes the whole thing work."
"[T]he star of the pic may well be NYC's Guggenheim Museum and Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, both of which figure in cool action chase sequences that pay handsome dividends."
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Brian F. O'Byrne
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