The confusing new movie, adapted way too faithfully from David Ignatius’s tricky 2007 novel, has more plot than necessary. It comes to life only when Leonardo DiCaprio, playing a supercapable CIA agent setting up shop in Jordan, speaks the terse language of operational tactics – he’s after a bin Laden-like spectre – or flirts with a sly nurse (Farahani) in fluent Arabic. DiCaprio has never been afraid to come off like a hothead, and when his plans go awry, he lights up the movie with rage.
Meanwhile, Russell Crowe, as a carbed-up desk warrior peering through spy satellites, takes his kids to soccer. He drives them to school. He barbecues. We get it: Spooks are people too. Always, he’s chattering on the cell attached to his ear. (Roaming charges must be a huge part of the national defense budget.) You wait for the inevitable frosting of eyes and verbal takedown, for their competition to become fatal, but Crowe’s Arkansan is actually the film’s comic relief. Ridley Scott must be the only director in the world who still finds him funny.
Body Of Lies
|Stars:||Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong, Golshifteh Farahani, Oscar Isaac, Simon McBurney|