Bank Shot
The International
Review by Ross Anthony

The film opens with style and promise. The hyper-close-up shots stir worthy tension. The actors bring intensity to the screen in each careful narrowing of the eyes. And then, to contrast, the wide-open cityscapes dominate. One lonely do-gooder is juxtaposed against the intimidating pale uncaring urban glass and concrete. Artistically, I love these choices. The cinematography and direction continue to be top notch. Likewise, Owen, Watts, and all the players are strong.

Sadly, the script slips. After a solid hour of intrigue, thrill, and engaging chase, choices are made that belie earlier smarts. The one that hit me the hardest: An essential impossibly-illusive key person is ridiculously coincidentally found simply walking down the street. Okay, I was almost willing to accept that 1-in-a-million when the script commands three sharp investigators to let him walk instead of nab him right on the spot. "Why would they do that?" You might very well ask. Well, to set up the cool shoot-out at another interesting location, of course. At least the shoot out is pretty cool.

After that, further scripting inconsistencies prompted me to lose otherwise-well-earned empathy for the lead and the film. In truth, I'm probably being a tad harsh on this picture due to the fact that it displayed so much promise. If you don't think too hard, it's still a well director thriller.

-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --

  • The International. Copyright © 2009.
  • Starring Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Brian F. O'Byrne. Directed by Tom Tykwer. Screenplay by Eric Warren Singer. Produced by Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Lloyd Phillips.

Grade..........................B (2/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2019 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Thursday, 12-Feb-2009 22:06:57 PST