Friday, August 1, 2014

[Review] A Most Wanted Man

Directed by Anton Corbijn, A Most Wanted Man is a taut spy thriller set in Germany. The film contains Philip Seymour Hoffman's final leading role, and it's a great one.

The film begins when a half-Russian, half-Chechen man illegally immigrates to the city of Hamburg, and he's placed on the Jihadist watch list. Gunter Bachmann (Hoffman) heads a counter-terror organization and leads the covert investigation on the suspect. When the man attempts to collect his inheritance from his now deceased criminal father, a banker (Willem Dafoe), a human rights lawyer (Rachel McAdams), and a U.S. C.I.A. agent (Robin Wright) get involved in the case. And no one can be trusted.

It all unfolds at a steady creeping pace, at times a tad too slow (but not as slow as Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy). However, the dialogue is sharp and there are plenty of small events that keep us guessing and lead us to believe the outcome can go in any direction. Who is actually helping whom? Who is in it for themselves? And is the man really guilty or innocent?

The acting is solid all around (although Rachel McAdams is a little shaky), but of course, Hoffman is the main show. He nails the accent, sometimes speaking in a tired, croaked voice reminiscent of later-period Marlon Brando delivery. He's convincing and enthralling at every turn. It's an excellent performance, and it's a depressing thought to think we won't be seeing another one of these.


No comments:

Post a Comment