HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
Trout, The
Zorba the Greek
   
 
Newest Articles
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
   
 
  Most Wanted Man, A Stuck In The Middle
Year: 2014
Director: Anton Corbijn
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Grigoriy Dobrygin, Robin Wright, Nina Hoss, Daniel Brühl, Homayoun Ershadi, Mehdi Dehbi, Rainer Bock, Herbert Grönemeyer, Vicky Krieps, Martin Wuttke, Bernhard Schütz, Ursina Lardi, Kostja Ullmann
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin) is half Russian, half Chechen and ashamed of his father's Russian nationality, but his father was a very rich man and Issa has a lot of money owed to him in inheritance. He is also being watched as he shows up in Hamburg on the run, believing he has escaped his tormentors who tortured him in the prisons he had landed in but actually the German anti-terrorist officials, led by Gunther Bachmann (Philip Seymour Hoffman), are well aware of his movements and keen to see what he does next. There's a lot of money at stake, after all, and that fortune of millions in Euros could fund a lot of terrorism which Issa appears to be sympathetic to, so will he hand it over to someone who can put it to evil use?

You get the impression with A Most Wanted Man that the filmmakers felt they had a work with something important to say about the state of the world, in particular the fabric of the spy networks and their opposite, the terrorism networks and the manner in which they danced around one another, waiting for the right time to strike and cause as much damage as possible. But then something happened a week after the premiere: its star Philip Seymour Hoffman died, which made headlines across the globe since he was so highly regarded as one of the most excellent proponents of his art in contemporary film, and suddenly this wasn't the movie with the important message anymore.

Well, it was, but it was more the final movie completed by a hugely respected actor before his untimely death while still in his forties - he was part of the way through his last Hunger Games role when he died - and viewers began to seek clues in his performance to see if they could divine any flaws or indications as to what his condition was like. Yet Hoffman was such an immersive actor, working hard to lose himself in every role, that it was diffcult to work out any of his mental state from his stylings here, as Gunther's shambling, world weary demeanour and hoarse, Germanic growl were more his acting choices than they were a reflection on Hoffman's personality. One thing was certain, he truly held the film together as the unlikely heart of the piece.

Overall, this came across as an attempt at summoning up the respect for a John Le Carré adaptation that an earlier, though still recent, one had, which was Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, with its handpicked cast, European director in Anton Corbijn, "realistic" world of espionage, and generally low key mood. It wasn't quite a slavish copy, as for a start it was set in modern Germany rather than the Europe of decades past and had pretensions to commentary on how the spy game had advanced, declined or even stayed much the same in the period since, which you more or less had to take as read was accurate as unless you had read up on the ins and outs of how governments tackle Islamic terrorism or the potential for it you would be led around by the plot instead of able to judge how authentic all this was; its lack of pizzazz contributed to that mundanity of dread, anyway.

With the subject matter the current headline grabber at the time it was released, you would hope this offered an insight into the methods implemented, yet it was a bleak picture it painted, most blatantly in that suffocating sense that no matter your sympathies, one side could easily use you against the other depending on what they wanted from you, that feeling of helplessness something almost every character suffers at some point, and translated to the audience into the bargain. Gunther, for all his machinations, genuinely does care about saving lives and saving people from themselves (every so often we'll be thrown a scene where, say, he breaks up a bar fight to illustrate this), and the lawyer Annabelle Richter (Rachel McAdams) who takes Issa's case shares the sentiment, though perhaps he and she are more alike than they realise in the long run. With a distinct lack of action, it was the low key conversations which moved this along, not everyone's idea of exciting cinema but then it was more contemplative than that, designed to provoke thought. Music by Herbert Grönemeyer.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1809 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: