Al Pacino is on the very short list of the great living actors. Colin Farrell is making a bid for the list (though he has at least two decades to go before he makes it) as he begins a solid collection of films. Okay, we will have to forget about “American Outlaws” and we may have to forget him in the upcoming “Daredevil,” but besides that, he has emerged from the BBC to become one of Hollywood’s hot commodities.
This latest film, “The Recruit,” is one more that can be added to the great performances by Pacino and Farrell. It was almost like watching the two dance on the screen, with Pacino leading. Pacino plays a CIA recruiting officer and training agent, Walter Burke, who recruits James Clayton (Farrell) to become a leading operative in the agency.
Clayton begins training at The Farm, a secret locale for the trainees. Very quickly he becomes smitten with another trainee, Layla Moore, played by Bridget Moynahan. There is the stereotypical animosity toward each other because of the sexual tension and of course, the trials that bring their two hearts together. Awww, ain’t that touching.
But is she for real? Is Clayton for real? Is anyone in the movie for real? Well, remember what the slugline for the movie is, ‘Nothing is what it seems.’ That is what they say, but in fact, everything is what is seems to be in this movie.
From the very beginning, in fact, from the previews on television, I was able to predict the outcome of the film. I am sure if you see the previews, you know exactly what to expect. There were no real surprises, it was not very riveting, but it was exciting and fun to watch played out.
Burke tells Clayton that Moore is a mole trying to infiltrate the CIA, but of course he has known her for about a month, so he is in love and cannot believe what he is hearing. So on his own he tries to find out who is being truthful and the ride begins. If you know the end of a movie, it does not always ruin the experience and this film was able to keep enough exciting moments to make it enjoyable.
The best thing to say about this film is the acting. This is the best I have seen Moynahan, in fact, aside from being gorgeous, this is her first performance I think is worth even mentioning. Farrell, as I mentioned, I feel is one of the great up and coming actors. I was horribly disappointed when his movie “Phone Booth” got shelved, but he has many more films to be released in 2003. Pacino is the closest thing to a film deity that has ever existed. Give him a script and he will nail it, so there is no criticism there.
This was like a juiced up “Spy Game.” If you enjoy Tom Clancy, if you enjoy films about double agents and espionage, this is your film. But for me, the predictability and the clich/s used spoil what could be good parts of the movie. B-.
Starring; Colin Farrell, Al Pacino, Bridget Moynahan
Directed by Roger Donaldson
What you need to know
If you enjoy Tom Clancy, double agents, espionage, this is your film.
Final Grade; B-