Monday, September 12, 2011

The Debt

The Debt – 113Min – R

This one is going to be hard for me. This move has some great story elements that I do not want to spoil it for you. Let me give you this much, it was a great espionage film that had the all the right elements. The stars did a wonderful job of making the movie entertaining and the story had you on the edge of my seat a few times. The overarching subplots are quite involved and they do a decent job of keeping the past and the present characters inline. I would say that the best part of the film is the dynamic between the characters. For overall entertainment value I give it a green light.

The movie starts off with a blending of flashback and current time. The story starts to come into focus as we see a party for a book release. The book follows the actions of Rachel (Helen Mirren) Stefan (Tom Wilkinson) and David (Ciaran Hinds) when they were younger. These three Mossad agents were on a mission to capture a Nazi war criminal in East Berlin. The younger versions were played by Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington, and Marton Coskas, respectively. The mission brings the three together in close quarters and under stress, they bond. The movie captures how events in the past come back to haunt the present. Everything we do has a price and sometime we must make amends

Director John Madden did a great job of taking the elements and blending the story together in an entertaining way. His films in the past, such as Shakespeare in Love to Proof, have focused more on human relationships. That experience shows in this film. This is defiantly more action-oriented than his previous films but he pulls it off.

The writing team that worked on this film’s screenplay also has an eclectic resume. Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman have worked on films like Kick Ass, X-men: First class and Stardust. Peter Straughan has worked on Men Who Stare at Goats, and How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. This list does not really ring as one that could make a leap to espionage thriller, but they do good work in this film. I do think the end of the movie has a softer climax than it should, which you can see more about under the spoiler heading, but overall the whole movie was entertaining.

I have been very pleased with the work that Focus Features has done. Many of the films I have enjoyed have come from them. Now that I have started to look at the people who make the movies, I have a new perspective. Production companies that have done a great job in movie making keep popping up. I am going to have to keep my eye out for their next projects.

Warning: Spoilers!! Top Secret!!!

One of the most gripping scenes was when they were trying to get the doctor out of Germany. I was completely nervous on that scene. it was well times and everything was paced marvelously. They paced it like a heist movie, making sure that things had to hit right or everything was going to be lost.

I like Sam Worthington He is a fine actor, but throughout the film his accent was muddled and inconsistent. He did a great job showing the emotion and delivering the suffering, but the accent made me look like the RCA victor Dog. The casting on the older version of him was a bit off as well. His older self and younger self did not play convincingly enough.

I thought that the fight with the very old Dieter Vogel (Jesper Christensen) and older Rachel was the failing in the ending. It is just not exciting to see them fight. I was much more concerned with her sneaking in to the news room and into the Hospital than I was with the fight. Perhaps have her meet the reporter and give him an interview after they find the Nazi dead would have been a better ending.

What is one movie that was told out of order that really entertained you? Tell me about it.

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