Is Don Cheadle a defector to the Islamic fundamentalist cause in this the latest addition to Hollywood’s war on terror movie cycle? Or is his Sudan-born Muslim, US-bred ex-special ops demolitions expert Samir Horn still secretly a good guy? You can probably guess the answer long before a ridiculously easy clue is telegraphed around the half-way mark, just in case the combination of the casting of the Ocean’s 11, 12 and 13 star and a blindly obvious script continues to flummox audiences.
Meanwhile, Guy Pearce’s liberal-minded Arab culture expert FBI agent and Saïd Taghmaoui’s tough-but-tender terrorist middleman attempt to catch up with the plot and work out for themselves who Horn is really working for. As the action shifts from North Africa to the south of France and finally, via Canada, to America, where the ultimate post-9/11 attack has been masterminded, the tension is ratcheted up. Except it’s not. Despite a mounting body count, it’s clear how this handsomely shot, well-acted political thriller will play out. And despite concerted efforts to present the war on terror from both an Eastern and Western perspective, the film still manages to demonise foreigners with dark skin. The only really intriguing thing about Traitor is it was co-written by Steve Martin (yes, that one).
General release, Fri 27 Mar.