German filmmaker Tom Run Lola Run Tykwer’s globetrotting intelligence thriller sets in motion a new kind of cinematic corporation tax.
When Interpol agent Louis Salinger (Clive Owen) witnesses the killing of one of his colleagues, who was investigating the IBBC, a powerful Luxembourg based bank, the trail leads him and District Attorney Eleanor Whitman (Naomi Watts) to discover the reprehensible activities in the world of high commerce.
By eschewing comic book excess and zany insouciance for something closer rooted to the Harry Palmer films or the more straight-laced early Bonds, Tykwer and his excellent cast and crew (including his regular DP Frank Griebe who does his best work to date here) has made an outstanding espionage drama. Drawing on his early preoccupations with providence and fortuity (hot housed by his obsession with the work of Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski) Tykwer reinterprets the modern thriller with dizzying bravura, executing along the way brilliant set pieces tempered by the type of deadpan refrain that recall the work of Fred Zinnerman and Hitchcock at their best (like them Tykwer can use architectural landmarks like few others). Recommended.