“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

A Most Wanted Man - Movie PosterA MOST WANTED MAN is based on a John le Carre novel published in 2008, but it is most notable in that it’s the final major performance of Philip Seymour Hofman, who died in February 2014.

Hofman plays Gunther Bachmann, a German intelligence agent based in Hamburg, Germany, and the story involves Bachmann and his team in pursuit of Issa Karpov, a Russian Muslim who has entered the city illegally.

What does Karpov want? What is his story? Is he a terrorist, or is he just escaping Russian oppression and attempting to join the large Muslim community in Hamburg?

Gunther asks himself these questions, keeping in mind that Hamburg was where the 9/11 terrorists involved in the 2001 attack on the United States hatched their plan, as well as the fact that Gunther has the stain of a failed mission in Beirut, Lebanon, that haunts him.

So, when Karpov gets in touch with Annabel Richter, a civil liberties lawyer played by Rachel McAdams, Gunther questions her for information, and she tells him, “He asked me to find someone for him. A banker.”

The banker is Tommy Brue, played by Willem Dafoe, and Karpov has a letter that will identify him to Tommy and establish that Karpov has a legitimate claim to a large sum of money that Tommy’s bank is holding, upwards of 10 million Euros.

Gunther doesn’t want anyone to get to Karpov before he and his team can, and he is warned to watch his back, because the Americans are taking an interest in Karpov, as well.

Gunther is told by his authorities that he has 72 hours to handle the situation or else others will take over the case.

Gunther believes that Annabel is now in danger, and for a start, she must be saved from anything that might happen.

In addition, for some time now Gunther and his team have been tracking the Arabic head of an Islamic charity, because they believe that he has been using the charity to funnel money to terrorists, and Gunther must also deal with the problem that one of his informants has become frightened and wants out of the game, saying that he can’t do it anymore.

A MOST WANTED MAN is rich, deep, and complex, but you might find one fault in it as I did.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”