Movie Review of “The International”

I’ve never done a movie review before this, but I just watched “The International” on DVD last night. The story line was plausible, and I’ve never seen a movie so filled with memorable, quotable lines.

Clive Owen plays Lew Salinger, an Interpol investigator and former cop at Scotland Yard. Naomi Watts plays a not-believable Manhattan deputy district attorney Eleanor Whitman. There’s no chemistry between the characters, no relationship between them, and no real reason in the story for her existence. Either the director left out chunks of screenplay that explained why she’s in the movie, or the producers just thought the movie needed a blonde girl. Wally Cox would have been just as believable in this role.

The villain international bank is trying to corner the market on small arms brokering to the Third World. It has spent hundreds of millions of dollars buying and selling missile systems between nations to grease the wheels of the deals. An Italian family who owns a defense contracting company ends up as the hero of the movie as they scuttle the plans of the bank with a vendetta (an Italian invention) for a bank assassination of the father.

In an early scene, Salinger and Whitman meet with Umberto Calvini, the patriarch of the Italian family business. He explains the motives of all international bankers as follows (paraphrased):

“The true value of a war or armed conflict to a bank is in the debt it creates. If you control the debt, you the country that took on the debt. All big banks, nations of the world and all multinational corporations are involved. Every government and large corporation needs the bankers so they can operate in the gray and black latitudes.”

So, who owns the US Government? The same banks that Bush and Obama just bailed out with a Trillion dollars of YOUR money.

Next quote:

“There’s what people want to hear.
Then there’s what people want to believe.
Then there’s most everything else.
Then, there’s the truth.”

Watch the evening news and you’ll see the first three things, but not the fourth.

Next quote:

“There’s a difference between the truth and fiction. Fiction has to make sense.”

The quote has it exactly upside down. Think about this quote as you remember the official story of the attacks of September 11, 2001. Unfortunately, the official story makes no sense, and it is certainly not the truth.

Next quote:

“(Good) Character is easier kept than recovered.”

Compare Senator Ted Kennedy and Congressman Ron Paul for a lesson in character.

Next quote:

“We cannot control the things life does to us. They are done before you know it, and when they are done, they make us do other things…until, at last, everything comes between you and the man you wanted to be.”

This is a fatalistic outlook that absolves the adherent from the consequences of his choices. It’s like the Nuremberg defense…”I was just following orders.”

Next quote:

“Sometimes a man can meet his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.”

What does this really mean? The dictionary defines “destiny” as “the predetermined, usually inevitable or irresistible course of events.” I’ve never believed in destiny or fate. I’ve always believed in individual choice. Destiny is fate, a leaf floating down a stream. Let me be the salmon swimming upstream against the current. At least I can say that I made my own way in spite of the obstacles. No guts, no glory.

Final quote:

“Justice is not possible because your idea and ideals about justice are illusions.”

It’s hard to argue against this statement when I see our court system in shambles, our prisons overcrowded with drug offenders, civil courts jammed, and jury awards unattached to reality. Perhaps true justice is only an illusion.

All in all, I enjoyed this action adventure film. One does not have to suspend belief and reality to enjoy this movie. I recommend it.


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