20 October 2008

Body of Lies

Body of Boredom

Body of Lies is the younger, not so smart step-brother to Traitor. I was semi-impressed, semi- bored with Traitor, but I was not extremely unimpressed and bored with Ridley Scott’s latest film. After seeing the previews a long time back, I decided that I would read the book. I only got 1/3 of the way into it, not because it was bad, but I have a tendency to get into a book and forget to finish them. But apparently, that is what they did, too. What little bit I did read was nothing like what was going on in front of me. They only kept the names the same. Russell Crowe could have passed for Ed Hoffman as described by David Ignatius. Leonardo DiCaprio was so far from Ignatius’s description of Roger Ferris.

As the movie opens, we see an Islamic extremist group blow themselves up so they are not captured. This was assumed to have been the work of the terrorist Al-Saleem, which is not even the same name as the terrorist in the book. From there, we see Ferris and his crony trying to gather information on this Al-Saleem when Ferris is severely injured and his crony killed. He is then given a desk job and assigned to help an agency friend Hani in the Middle East to gather information and set a trap for Al-Saleem.

There was so much right with Body of Lies that it was a frustrating movie to watch. Ridley Scott turned in his usual great direction. Crowe and DiCaprio were both brought their A games. The problem was the story. Not the script, but the story. The story was bland, boring, and seemed half thought out. You cannot fix a bad story. Righteous Kill had a bad script that could have been fixed. But this, this had a bad story. I did not care about the characters or the storylines. Verdict: I think that if you avoid this movie altogether, you will be better off. This was a huge disappointment, not only to me, but the distributors really had some hope that this would be an
Oscar contender. They could not have been more wrong.

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