Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Good plot twists you could see from a mile away.

Unfortunately, we had arrived at the theater too late to catch¬†the start of the last showing of Gangs of New York, so¬†we had to settle with the second choice. _The Recruit¬†_didn’t get as much critical acclaim as Gangs, but what¬†the heck, Al Pacino in a spy thriller? How could I lose?

The story is simple enough. Colin Farell plays James Clayton,¬†a young man just out of MIT, recruited by CIA agent William Burke¬†(Pacino). Clayton is obsessed with finding out what happened to¬†his father, who was lost in an accident some fifteen or so years¬†ago. Pacino taunts him by dropping the occasional hint about his¬†father’s fate, and Clayton throws away the promising career he¬†would have had in Engineering to join the CIA. The third entry to¬†this little affair is Leila, Clayton’s batchmate at the Farm, a

chick who may or may not be a double agent, but definitely has the hots for him. The three of them expectedly get involved a complicated plot involving double agents, unofficial operatives and the standard amount of secret agent sex.

The best parts of the movie involve the CIA training. We get a¬†glimpse into the kind of psychological warfare business they¬†teach the recruits at the training centre affectionately called¬†”The Farm.” Here Al Pacino does what he does, drilling his¬†principles into his students: “Trust no one.”; “Nothing is what¬†is seems.”, and “Everything is a test.”

The weakest part has to be the character of James Clayton¬†himself. The character of Leila puts it best: Why the hell does¬†James feel like doing anything he can to please Burke? James¬†never has any real motivation for following Burke like he was the¬†Messiah. Aside from that mysterious star on the CIA wall at¬†Langley (which may or may not be related to his father), there is¬†nothing stopping James from just calling it quits and heading¬†home. Hell, I wouldn’t have wanted to go through that training,

secret agent or not.

Overall: Enjoyable enough, despite the predictability of the¬†overall plot. Ending is a bit disappointing, but only a bit, as¬†it leaves an important plot point hanging. I hope we see these¬†characters again sometime…

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