Rendition Movie Reviews
User reviews on Rendition
The reviews for RENDITION generally haven't been favorable, so I waited until it moved to the local discount theatre to see it. The film tells the story of Anwar El-Ibrahimi, an American-Egypti an scientist who is plucked from his international flight and hauled in for interrogation after a strange coincidence links him to a recent terrorist attack in an unnamed North African country. Not as bad as I'd feared, it's an interesting and thought-provoki ng entry in the "ripped-from-th e-headlines" thriller genre. The film ultimately asks tough questions concerning U.S. methods of prying information from political prisoners: Is crossing the formerly-uncros sed line of (openly) employing torture on suspected terrorists something our country should be doing? Does it yield useful information that helps save lives? If so, at what cost? What sort of monsters do we create when innocent people are taken prisoner and tortured? By sanctioning the use of torture, what sort of monster do we as a country become? It's always disappointing when a film with such provocative material is sloppy with some of the details that make good films great. For example, I'd like to have empathized with Anwar's wife, who spends the entire film trying to track him down, but the only identifiable personality trait she's given is an advanced state of pregnancy. RENDITION also seems to imply that Arab women who don't go along with their fathers' arranged marriages are only asking for trouble, and there's a poorly-conceive d scrapbook kept by another of the film's main characters that too conveniently spells out in great detail all the information his love interest just happens to be in urgent need of at that particular moment. I laughed out loud, when the moment should have been filled with dread. The film features a good central performance by Jake Gyllenhaal and strong (but too brief) appearances by Hollywood veterans Meryl Streep and Alan Arkin, as well as impressive turns by Omar Atwally as Anwar El-Ibrahimi and also by actors Moa Khouas, Zineb Oukach and Yigal Naor, all of whom I would much enjoy seeing in future films that have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism. Good luck to them. The five or so stories RENDITION follows are woven together nicely, until the filmmakers insert a slight-but-effe ctive twist that finally alludes to the never-ending cycle of carnage that violent attacks of terror beget.
This movie jumps around, uses sub-titles and frankly isn't worth the effort. The only emotion producing scenes are the torture ones and even those feel contrived. Flat acting all around. Rent it on DVD if you must.
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