In the bonus track of the DVD of "All the Devil's Men," writer-director Matthew Hope discussed his goal in exposing how the CIA began as an intelligence gathering organization, but evolved into "an assassination agency."
At least Lyndon Johnson agreed with Hope when he famously remarked that the CIA was "running a Murder, Inc." operation. As it turns out, the film was more of a standard action film than a political exposé, and Hope's directorial skills are better than his screenwriting.
A weakness of the film was in the character of Leigh, who is the CIA operative directing the lead character Collins and his fellow "bounty hunters," who are contract killers with an endless supply of assignments. Leigh was never entirely credible as the rogue agent motivated primarily by personal reasons to avenge the death of her father, who was beheaded by the film's villain in South Waziristan in northwest Pakistan.
According to the bonus segment, the film had pretensions of showing how "empires are destroyed from within." But the viewer is confronted by such a convoluted plot and so many double-crosses that it was difficult to contemplate the big picture of an intelligence agency run amok and "working in the shadows." There were also too many clichés in the scripting, including such lines as, "Are we protecting the homeland, or are we just making more enemies?"
Milo Gibson is good in the leading role of the beleaguered veteran contract agent. Gibson is the son of actor Mel Gibson, and, although Milo is much stockier than his dad, the facial resemblance is uncanny. Gibson turned in a credible performance.
In the bonus track, Hope described how the film was intended as a throwback to such thrillers as "The French Connection." But that film had superb plotting, well-rounded characters, and the gritty realism of international crime, features that were missing in "All the Devil's Men."