8 July 2006 | mattrochman
Clever spy plot that isn't over-cooked
Company business is definitely a film for those with spy-genre tastes. The plot begins as a fairly straight-forward story, but as you expect in all films in this genre, twists and turns develop - people are not who they seem and it becomes difficult to work out who is playing who. That said, it is not a clichéd film, largely because the twists are not contrived or overcooked.
Further it has a European flavour to tone it down. It doesn't become a cluttery screaming shoot out towards the end - an trap that American films all too often fall into.
I suppose that's why I give it such a high rating: an engaging spy thriller that manages not to overstate the drama or manufacture the twists. In many respects, it gives the film a strange credibility. I feel that this is much more indicative of a real CIA officer's job than something like spygame or James Bond.
Mikail Barishnykov (sorry if spelling is wrong) showed considerable acting talent and Hackman, as always, delivers a strong, but toned performance. Supporting roles from Kirkwood Smith and Terry Quinn, only bolstered its stocks further.
A strange thing to note is that the key people involved in the film has issues with it. Gene Hackman was tired from doing three films in a row and apparently wanted to back out, but pushed through. Barishnykov refused to do publicity for it and has not spoken fondly of the film. The director said some sequences were good, but the "whole" wasn't the outcome he wanted and regretted starting production without a complete shooting script.
While I feel like someone who appreciated a film that the main people in its production didn't rate, I don't care. I've rewatched it multiple times and love its pacing and plotting.