Overall Grade: (C)
As a straight up action-thriller this film delivered but as a serious espionage thriller, the holes in the plot were too large to overlook.
Was this film on the level of a “Mission: Impossible” or a well rounded James Bond flick, no. Did it pull enough story-line into the mix, to add with some characters you can vest your interest in long enough to see the outcome, yes.
Milla Jovovich has proven over her career that she can embrace an action filled role and as the newly assigned state department employee working from the London Embassy to screen passports, she fit the bill. Pierce Brosnon, more familiar with the role of good-guy was highly enjoyable in the role of the villain and his performance gave his character and edge that if he had during his tenure as the martini sipping special-agent, his James Bond days could have been more memorable for its positives.
Both were good in this film and made for two highly intriguing leads that a solid film could be wrapped around. In addition the supporting cast was better than average as well. With the likes of Angela Bassett, Dylan McDermott and Robert Forester, your initial though would be a great espionage thriller using current day issues to weave a compelling tale. The first-act starts out good but as soon as the film starts to ramp up in intensity, the effort in the scripting seemed to drop.
Early in the film you are given a nice international feel, introduced to the characters and the current issues facing the agents in the embassy with preventing suspected terrorists from entering the United States. Jovovich’s characters is strong and intelligent, Brosnon’s characters is charming and mysterious and fun to see given it differs from his usual roles.
Then, once the plot gets going the flaws in the course of the story begin to show. It is eluded that Jovovich’s character is possibly CIA, one would assume this would be a lead for her to unleash a skill-set later in the film but she makes many errors that were either missed by the filmmakers or most likely ignored to have the story go where they wanted.
Brosnon’s character was built as a man that makes no mistakes yet when trying to take down his target he has one problem after the other without Jovovich’s character, for lack of so many words, making him earn it. She doesn’t really do anything other than play a common game of cat-and-mouse that overbears the rest of the film. With so much time spent on mindless running and chasing the supporting cast is underused. McDermott’s role was built rather nicely then he was forgotten. Forester and Bassett were useless to the films plot and were simply just the common cardboard characters you get from lazy writing.
These are examples of why this film was not on the level of other espionage thrillers like the “Bourne Identity” but in the end this was still a fun action romp to sit back and enjoy. If you overlook some of the errors there are solid performances by the cast, always something going on, and plenty of action to pass the time although the second-act did drag a little longer than needed. The third-act takes on a large scale setting and regardless of the rest of the story-line, there was some tense moments generated in the climax if you let yourself forget some of the shortcomings this one had.