Rendition (2007)

R   |    |  Drama, Thriller


Rendition (2007) Poster

When a terrorist bombing in North Africa kills 19 incl. an American, an Egyptian chemical engineer flying from South Africa to his wife in USA, is arrested upon arriving USA. He disappears. His wife asks senator for help.

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6.8/10
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  • Reese Witherspoon and Peter Sarsgaard in Rendition (2007)
  • Igal Naor at an event for Rendition (2007)
  • Alan Arkin at an event for Rendition (2007)
  • Alan Arkin and Adam Arkin at an event for Rendition (2007)
  • Jake Gyllenhaal in Rendition (2007)
  • Aramis Knight at an event for Rendition (2007)

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22 January 2008 | intelearts
6
| Not complex enough to justify the theme
Rendition fails to really nail the issue - it chooses instead to show its colours too distinctly.

And what we get instead is a decent political thriller, but one that is difficult to assess in terms of its attempted aim - after all, here we are dealing with what must be one of the emotive issues known to man - can torture ever be justified? Is the utilitarian rule of the possible gains worth the literal breaking of a possibly innocent man? Is he a terrorist, isn't he a terrorist?

This is a very important topic, and a very complex one, that is treated as though it were a film about lobbying on the one hand, showing Washington and the Beltway as a ground for piranhas to make or break their careers, and on the other, in Egypt, a battle for the sanity of all involved there.

Yes, it makes a good thriller; but, and it's a big but, it lacks the true depth of thought, rather than action, that will address the issue, rather than (God forbid) entertain an audience.

Excellent performances from all involved - really. Good steady hand at the helm - but what it lacks is complexity - it seems complex initially but unravels the further down the rabbit warren we go.

I came away uneasy, but not as uneasy as I should have, and non-plussed by the sleight of hand tricks that should have revealed real ambivalence, real moral dilemma, real grey areas, whereras instead I was left with black and white.

Not the film it wants to be, it is a good political thriller, but it is not as effective a piece of cinema as it could have been.

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