08 September 2008

Traitor

I Felt Betrayed

Traitor is a spy-thriller from the mind of Steve Martin. Yes, that Steve Martin. The preview made this movie look like a cross of The Departed and The Bourne Ultimatum. It was neither. It was not bad, but it was not that original. It could have been better. It should have been better. It just wasn’t. It’s not that it was happy in its mediocrity; it just did not have what it takes to make it to the next level.

Traitor opens with a little boy witnessing the murder of his father in a car bomb. This little boy grows up to be Don Cheadle’s character Samir Horn. He becomes the target of to agents, Roy Clayton and Max Arden, played by Guy Pierce and Neil McDonough. As they try to catch him, he joins/infiltrates a terrorist cell bent on setting off multiple car bombs in the heartland of America. This is where everything goes awry. Samir meets with an Agent Carter, played by Jeff Daniels. He was trying to hard to be Martin Sheen from The Departed. He is the only person who knows that Samir is not a bad guy, but a good guy. So, when he winds up dead, similar story lines appear. The culmination of the car bombers was reminiscent of The Interpreter. So, it wasn’t as effective the second time around. The climax took place on a freight liner, but it was sadly predictable. They only surprise was the actual ending.

As the movie moved at a snail’s pace, it did have a great script. Some of the lines of dialogue caught me off guard. The movie delved into racial and religious issues. It made interesting points. Some were sad because they were true. The only ineffective thing done with these lines were that they made one agent a bigot and one so open-mined. The Ying and Yang approach got old. Sadly, even good points and good acting could not make this movie stand out in my mind. Even the music seemed over used as parts sounded taken directly from Hans Zimmer’s Gladiator score, and then parts sounded like the Dexter music. Verdict: A rental would be worth the time, but to see it in theaters is not a necessity.

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