One of Hollywood's great traditions is to make the same sub-sub-genre of film three times in the space of five years. For example: The Sixth Sense, The Others, and What Lies Beneath.
The Recruit is the first of what will inevitably be a bunch of post 9/11 CIA movies. It won't be the best—especially if justice is done to Claire's novel.
They've given it that grainy documentary look and put a couple of big names in the leads, but, as hard as it tries, you can't take it seriously because it has the most worst failing a movie can have: a bad script. It wasn't written by the famous Robert Towne, but his rather less famous brother Roger. (Even Robert has been coasting on his work on Chinatown for some time now. The last decent thing he wrote was Frantic.)
I just hate watching a thriller full of clunking implausibilities. There are holes so big in this one you could fly a passenger jet through them. Whoops, I mentioned the unmentionable. Yes, that's right: they keep referencing The Company's "biggest mistake" ("they let us down when we needed them most") without ever actually discussing it. Gawd.
Oh yes, and:
- Pacino is on autopilot throughout, shoutING randomly to SHOW emoTION;
- the intensely annoying Bridget Moynahan is there again—queen of the crap thriller, she looms over Farrell, distracting the viewer by breaking one of the most important cinematic conventions: she's taller than her leading man; and
- every character in the story uses a "movie computer"—you know the ones I mean: gratuitous bleeping, big, flashing CIA logos, one-inch high login fields—need I say more?
I don't mind Hollywood making stupid films. I just hate them being packaged as intelligent ones. It's insulting.
(Did I mention that the music is derivative, Hans-Zimmer-by-numbers crap?)