Rendition

"Good"

Rendition Review


About halfway through Gavin Hood's Rendition, Peter Sarsgaard's dweeby congressman's assistant approaches Meryl Streep's white witch of the CIA with enough huff-and-puff to blow down a Dairy Queen. The two ideological opposites go at it with crisp, cool reverie: He promises to send her a copy of the Constitution while she promises him that a copy of the 9/11 Report will be arrive in his mailbox posthaste. It's sloganeering at its finest and that's not the half of it.

CIA watchdog Corrine Whitman (Streep) sets up the titular protocol when evidence is uncovered against Chicago family man and chemical engineer Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Omar Metwally), Egyptian by birth. Whitman suspects that El-Ibrahimi had a hand in a recent bombing of an unnamed North African tea house; an attempt on the life of North African security head Fawal (Igal Naor). Fawal heads the "interrogation" with CIA analyst Douglas Freeman (Jake Gyllenhaal) there as counsel while they electrocute, drown, beat, and strangle Anwar to give up information on the attack.

Soon enough, Anwar's pregnant wife Isabella (Reese Witherspoon) begins stirring the pot with her ex-flame and Senator's aide Alan Smith (Sarsgaard). As a happy coincidence, it's at the same time that Freeman's conscience kicks in after he realizes that Anwar truly knows nothing about the attacks and gets ready to hightail it out of the prison with Anwar. Meanwhile, Fawal's daughter spends her nights kissing an extremist prepping for an attack to avenge his brother, the victim of one of the security chief's prior interrogations.

Seductively shot by the great Dion Beebe (Collateral, Miami Vice), Hood has moved from very personal terrain (Tsotsi) to a globe-spanning human rights drama. The transition, at times daunting and inexcusably partisan, shows Hood as an assured director in the thick of multiple narratives. The filmmaker tightly winds each scene and brings out the strengths in Kelley Sane's skin-deep script. There's a solid scaffolding in Sane's pages, but the script has no ear for the emotional maelstrom swirling among these characters, giving the actors very little to work with. The performances vary from passable to steadfast, but Naor, brooding with the weight of tradition and responsibility, steals the film.

The film's title comes from the term "extraordinary rendition," a buzzword dreamt up during the Clinton administration for when the government secretly extradites terrorist suspects to other countries to weasel around civil liberties. Whereas Stephen Gaghan's Syriana found fault with liberals and conservatives alike, Rendition blindly believes in one ending that will rightly crown those who stand against torture and persecution as the righteous. Towards the later half, the film goes so far as to presuppose that if people were to merely read about the torture and mistreatment of an innocent that would change things for the better. In many ways, Rendition can be best described as a fantasy.

The devil wears Prada.



Rendition

Facts and Figures

Run time: 122 mins

In Theaters: Friday 19th October 2007

Box Office USA: $9.7M

Box Office Worldwide: $24.7M

Budget: $27.5M

Distributed by: New Line Cinema

Production compaines: Anonymous Content, Level 1 Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 47%
Fresh: 72 Rotten: 81

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Anwar El-Ibrahimi, as Isabella Fields El-Ibrahimi, as Douglas Freeman, Moa Khouas as Khalid, Zineb Oukach as Fatima Fawal, as Abasi Fawal, Laila Mrabti as Lina Fawal, David Fabrizio as William Dixon, J.K. Simmons as Lee Mayer, as Corrine Whitman, as Alan Smith, as Senator Hawkins, Najib Oudghiri as Omar Adnan

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.