The Recruit

2006-07-03 15:27
 
THE RECRUIT has all the makings of a great spy flick - a talented cast, superb production and an interesting plot to boot. Yet it fails to deliver on its promise, mainly because it degenerates into a variation on the standard "boy meets girl" formula.

Colin Farrell plays James Clayton, a talented young hacker on his way to a career in computers. Then Walter Burke (Al Pacino) appears and offers him a place in the CIA's agent training programme. Eager to find out more about his fathers unexplained disappearance, Clayton agrees.

At the intensive CIA training camp known as "The Farm" he meets Layla (Bridget Moynahan), a fellow trainee. His growing feelings for Layla are a weakness that his trainers exploit to test his resolve. Soon he must face his ultimate challenge - exposing Layla as a double agent. The movie is generally well acted, gripping at times and intermittently original. But it totally fails to deliver on the promise it shows at the start. Instead we must settle for Farrell and Moynahan looking pretty together, with a bit of spy-stuff thrown in to spice it up.

Pacino is effortlessly elegant, but the script lets him down and he ends up shouting his way through a few key scenes in a vain attempt to inject some passion into the limp dialogue.

Even minus the gratuitous romance THE RECRUIT is nothing special. The few really clever ideas are drowned by its lack of focus. At the same time it isn't a terrible film. It's slick, unchallenging and prettily entertaining - you could do much worse.
THE RECRUIT has all the makings of a great spy flick - a talented cast, superb production and an interesting plot to boot. Yet it fails to deliver on its promise.

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