Interesting, but Not Engaging

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

Body of Lies - Movie PosterBODY OF LIES is a modern-day spy thriller set in the Middle East that holds your attention while you are watching it, but after it is over, you might feel unsatisfied.

The fourth collaboration between Russell Crowe and director Ridley Scott, the film also stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a CIA agent on the ground who is in almost constant cell-phone communication with Crowe, his handler back in the United States.

In fact, Crowe’s Ed Hoffman can even be directing DiCaprio’s Roger Ferris while Hoffman is at home guiding his young son to the bathroom or at one of his children’s soccer games.

And even when Hoffman is at CIA headquarters, the satellite technology is so sophisticated that he can watch Ferris while Ferris is driving out in the desert or even running through crowded streets.

Their main objective is to catch Al-Saleem, an Islamic terrorist mastermind behind two massive suicide bombings in Europe. To this end, Ferris concocts a complicated scheme to make an innocent man look as if he is another terrorist mastermind competing with Al-Saleem, in order to draw Al-Saleem out into the open.

As part of the plan, Ferris needs the cooperation of a man named Hani, who is the head of Jordan’s covert operations and who tells Ferris his one
rule: that Ferris must never lie to him.

Hoffman, however, tells Ferris, “You cannot trust Hani. Am I clear?”

Now, the film seems to be a training manual for terrorists in showing just how certain operations can be accomplished, such as how to get one man into one automobile out in the desert without revealing to an overhead satellite which automobile he is in.

The film also shows warfare at its best. Or should that be at its worst?

After a while, however, we might find ourselves asking do we really care what happens any more?

The theme could be described as “Nobody is innocent,” but there seems to be too many similarities to too many other recent films, some better and some not as good, but is that the fault of this film or the fault of the novel on which it is based?

Even a semblance of a love story seems to be generic and just plopped down into the plot.

BODY OF LIES is interesting to watch, but not very engaging.

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