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The Recruit [Blu-ray]
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The Recruit is a film about the CIA and a training facility called "The Farm". Walter Burke (Al Pacino) is a teacher at The Farm and is trying to recruit James Clayton (Colin Farrell) to join the CIA. Clayton is intrigued both by how Burke sells the CIA and also because Burke claims some knowledge about Clayton's father (who disappeared/was killed in 1990). Clayton goes along for the ride and the first half of the movie is the training at the Farm.
The first half of the movie (barring the first 5-10 minutes) is by far the best of the movie. If the quality would have held up, this could have been a great movie. During the training we meet Layla (Bridget Moynahan), who may or may not be a spy. Burke tells Clayton early in the movie that nothing is as it seems. If we keep that in mind we have to accept that anything we are presented is a lie. This makes the first half of the movie very interesting but also makes the second half of the movie fairly conventional. Nothing is really wrong with it, but nothing is really right with the second hour. There are a couple of twists that aren't really unexpected, but nothing too spectacular.
Here's the bottom line: I enjoyed watching the movie, but it was ultimately empty and forgettable. Al Pacino gets to give a nice speech (a wonderful, but typical Pacino explosion), and everyone does a good job, but the movie is just lacking...I think it is lacking any kind of real story. If you want to see a better movie in this genre, see Spy Game. It's a much better movie.
What rides it above the predictability that could have drawn it down is its riveting pace. Glossy visuals are a plus too. The eminently watchable Pacino is no slouch in the charisma department as usual. Farrell merits a special mention, he maintains a credible dignity that lends a certain cachet to the movie, and his chemistry with Moynahan is searing.
Last but not the least, there are not-so-subtle references to recent CIA glitches, most likely 911 and Gulf War.
You'll probably not watch this flick more than once, but it's a decent rental for the first time. The extras on the DVD include some deleted scenes that reassured me that the movie is very well edited. Which helps.
Farrell plays an ace computer programmer haunted by the death of his father over a decade earlier. Pacino is a recruiter for the CIA who hints that Farrell's father may have been a member of the company. Farrell enlists and trains for field work; this recruitment and training takes up around half the movie.
The second half of the story has Pacino - one of the main trainers - recruiting Farrell for his first assignment, dealing with a mole within the Agency. Although some of the plot twists are foreseeable, others are less obvious, and if the ending wraps up everything a little too neatly, it is nonetheless satisfying.
In certain ways, this is a rather standard suspense flick, but as said before, it is the writing and acting that help it excel. Farrell holds his own with the veteran Pacino, and the rest of the relatively no-name cast also puts forth a decent effort. The Recruit is a solid four-star flick: not a classic but definitely a pleasant diversion.
But aside from that, this movie is a generally entertaining thriller with some excellent performances by Al Pacino, Colin Farrell and the criminally underrated Bridget Moynahan. Farrell plays James Clayton, a brilliant computer programmer who moonlights as a bartender who is recuited by CIA headhunter Walter Burke (played with flair by Pacino). After passing the entrance test Clayton (along with fellow recruit Layla Moore played by Moynahan) is sent the CIA traing facility nicknamed "The Farm." What follows is a thrilling action adventure with enough twists and turns to keep the viewer enthralled.
The 2003 movie may not have appeared an obvious choice to be one of the earlier Blu-ray catalog titles (released June 3, 2008) due to its rather bleak look, but I am certainly glad it was picked because its 1080p transfer is really quite good. Though not reference quality it is quite pleasing with enough of those high definition details (such as Farrell's trademark stubble), clarity and color reproduction to please PQ enthusiasts.
The audio is somewhat average by comparison with good balance and a pleasing surround effect, and the Blu-ray of "The Recruit" is undoubtedly the best soundtrack you are ever likely to hear for the movie.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Colin Farrell is a great actor and along side Al Pacino they both were good. I'll watch anything with Colin Farrell he deserves more credit than he's given by his critics....Published 3 months ago by Patricia L Davis
FABULOUS SUSPENSEFUL FILM!! BRILLIANT PERFORMANCES BY COLIN FARELL,,AL PACINO, AND BRIDGET MOYNIHAN! GREAT SCREENPLAY!Published 4 months ago by CHRISTINA HIGGINS
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