The International: Good Timing, Bad Film
'Boilerplate' lines make 'chatty' flick less than memorable
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 13, 2009 12:37 PM CST

(Newser) – A thriller about evil banks, The International got its timing right. Too bad, then, that it’s not a better film. The film “almost seems like a Monty Python spoof on spy-game thrillers in which the phrase ‘secret agent’ is constantly replaced by 'banker,'" writes Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News. Sample line: “If I die, 100 other bankers take my place.”

“Emotional relevance has trouble coexisting with boilerplate lines,” notes Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times. While the flick’s “got some effective moments and aspects,” including “noticeable visual style,” it’s “never more than adequate,” he writes. Writing in the New York Times, AO Scott calls the picture “so undistinguished that the moments you remember best are those that you wish another, more original director had tackled.”