Body of Lies
- Paul Dale
- 13 November 2008
As with 2001’s Black Hawk Down, South Shields’ most famous filmmaker Ridley Scott again attempts to pull a callous zeitgeist from international news headlines, with unconvincing results.
CIA operative Roger Ferris (Leonardo Di Caprio) is trying to track down terrorist mastermind Al Salim (Alon Abutbul). His investigations take him from Iraq to Jordan with stop-offs at any other Islamic country possibly capable of harbouring terrorist cells. His fat, obtuse handler Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe) keeps tabs on him with satellite technology, all the time giving him illogical orders that put Ferris in the danger zone.
When Ferris meets Hani Salaam (Mark Strong), the cultured and wise head of the Jordanian General Intelligence Department, he realises that here is a man he can really work with, even if it means going against the scheming Hoffman.
This unnecessarily convoluted and complicated thriller adapted from a novel by Washington Post journalist David Ignatius by William The Departed Monaghan is well acted and directed with Scott’s usual watchable aggrandisement, but as both entertainment and meaningful despatch from the ‘Age of the Jihad’ it is ultimately unconvincing. For all its incidental modernity (state of the art technology, intercultural romance etc) Body of Lies is just another flabby, implausible espionage thriller and one already dated by recent events.
General release from Fri 21 Nov