The International

The internet has certainly sped up things. In the olden days news travelled with the speed of a tortoise on valium, which allowed newspaper to break news that had happened several days ago. These days newspapers are being forced to develop a new identity, they’re becoming the medium that adds analysis to yesterday’s events. In the meantime, when Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert make a joke where the joke involves the proposal ‘google it’, dozens of new sites instantly appear that involve the word that had to be googled.

But is this making us a better society? Over here at DV both Deeopey and I have already confessed re-evaluating movies we’d rated several months before. Some movies make look good at first, but within months you’ve come to realise you can’t remember more than one scene from that movie. Whereas others, which ended up with a lower score because they were less professionally made, are still very much present in the back of your head.

Maybe we should all wait a handful of months before we review a movie instead of blogging about it in the hour between the late night showing and the moment you go to bed. By then, the instant gratification scenes have evaporated from our brain and what we’re left with is only the core of the movie.

Case in point: The International. I’ve just found the cinema ticket in my pocket and it dawned upon me I’d never reviewed that film. But what was the film about? The only two things I could easily remember were Clive Owen (the protagonist) and the shooting scene in a museum. I saw the film in March, it’s now September and that’s about all I can remember.

I’d forgotten that Naomi Watts and Armin Mueller-Stahl were also in the film (and quite good), but the IMDb was there to remember me. A bit of trivia made me remember the Turkish scenes. And the IMDb also informed me the director was Tom Tykwer. It’s all stuff I probably would’ve mentioned in my review, had I reviewed the film in March.

The International was nicely directed but the story doesn’t linger as much as The Bourne Ultimatum. Which, by the way, I found a horribly overhyped movie that wasn’t worth half the attention it received. Which brings us to another question: do I remember Bourne more because the story had more punch or because I was so annoyed by the film while viewing it?

The International‘s plot (mind you, I had to look this up) is about an Interpol agent who tries to find out whether (or to which degree) a well-known financial institution is involved in dealing arms. It’s crafted well enough to keep you entertained, even if your suspension of disbelief is occasionally questioned. The one true stand-out scene is the one in the museum, even if the film knows it and brags about it during the scene. (Much like in the song “You’re fit but you know it”, the scene has this slightly annoying feeling of shouting ‘Hey, look at me, I’m special’ and would’ve been even better if it had been somewhat shortened.
Mueller-Stahl also provides the film with some memorable moments, even though some were already slipping from my memory by now. Had I not done a bit of research prior to this review, I probably would’ve forgetten them completely.

Initially I gave The International the score of 6/10. When I saw a trailer for the dvd the other week, I had it in my memory as a 5/10 film. Let’s say that, if I would watch it again, it would end up as a 5.5/10 movie. Remarkably, I can still remember the other Tykwer films I’ve seen much more than this one, even though it’s been three years since I last saw another of his films (Perfume). The only other film that I’d forgotten about was Heaven, which I truly hated (despite Cate Blanchett). Watch The International if you get a chance to see it, but both Tykwer and Owen have done lots of other stuff worthier of checking out.


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