3 April 2004 | rsoonsa
SINKS DUE TO A LACK OF DESIGN.
Former Harper's editor Jim Hougan is credited as a co-scriptor here, but it is apparent that his contribution is primarily conceptual, since Hougan has achieved success from his polished writing ability upon topics concerning national security, espionage, and conspiracy theses, always including a good deal of documentary detail, whereas the slipshod scenario for this film is anything but fastidious. The main thread of the plot has to do with a plan devised by an olio of renegade spies residing in an unactual nation called Moressa that will reward the group with enormous wealth because of the creation of an international crisis involving fake satellite photography, with subplots offering quaint romantic pairings and other reality curbing gaucherie composed by director Antony Thomas. His direction is flabby, blocking is clumsy with little attention being paid to intrascene tertiary roles, and it is often difficult to comprehend precisely what is occurring although it readily becomes of little importance since few of the characters possess intrinsic appeal and there is no interference from the demands of logic or continuity, but there are estimable contributions from Mike Southon with his camera and lighting talents, as well as from Gemma Jackson and Sophie Becher for production and art designing, respectively. In a work filmed largely in Sri Lanka, gifted Alice Krige sleepwalks through her role as an idealistic local activist while David Warner does his best as a scheming English agent, but Robert Loggia is absurd in his performance as a blustering apostate CIA operative, and Brian Kerwin and Diane Ladd are thwarted by their poorly written parts.