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Genre: Thriller
Starring: Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Brían F. O'Byrne, Michel Voletti, Haluk Bilginer, Patrick Baladi, Fabrice Scott, Jay Villiers
Director: Tom Tykwer
Rating: NC-16 (Violence and Some Coarse Language)
Year Made: 2009




- Audio commentary by director Tom Tykwer and screenwriter Eric Singer
- Extended Scene
- Making The International
- Shooting At The Guggenheim
- The Architecture of The International
- The Autostadt
- Trailers



Languages: English/Portuguese/
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 58 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Origin Entertainment




Interpol agent Louis Salinger (Clive Owen) is determined to expose an arms dealing ring responsible for facilitating acts of terrorism around the globe. But as his investigation leads Salinger and his partner, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Whitman (Naomi Watts), deeper into the secret world of greed, corruption and murder, they become targets of a deadly conspiracy so vast, they soon find the only people left to trust?are each other. This pulse-pounding thriller plays a high-stakes game of suspense, intrigue and explosive action.


Aside from the ordinary looking DVD cover that shows Clive Owen brandishing a gun with Naomi Watts looking on helplessly, "The International" screams 'ambitious' at every corner and every plot twist the moment the opening credits rolled.

The screenplay by newcomer Eric Singer abandoned the usual route of big-bang-boom Hollywood action thrillers and took the road less travelled in fleshing out the story of Interpol agent Louis Salinger (Clive Owen) who is bent on exposing an evil financial corporation, the IBBC for facilitating acts of terrorism, arms trading and money laundering. With the assistance of Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Whitman (Naomi Watts) and the local cops, Salinger went round the world to track down the evil-doers. Will it spell the end of corruption or will it unearth something more sinister?

The script took on a huge burden by portraying a 'bank' as the villain. Not the people running it but the whole IBBC unlike a typical crime thriller where the villain or a character is instantly established. Here we have an entity as a villain. Though "The International" did have the character of Jonas Skarssen (Ulrich Thomsen) as the man behind the running of the bank but it’s not convincingly written and for the most part, conveniently singled out for the sake of the audience to establish a link with. This is one of the greatest mishaps “The International” possessed.

Of course, the biggest credit goes to Clive Owen as the agent who believes in nothing except carrying out justice to the evil-doers. In the hands of director Tony Tykwer (Run Lola Run), Agent Salinger doesn’t crashes through windows Jason Bourne style or crashes any Aston Martin James Bond style, Tykwer even discards the usage of jump cuts and shaky camera jolt which Paul Greengrass fancies and relies on old-school gunplay and footchase yet effectively brought out the movie’s few moments of tension. One of note is the movie’s major action sequence that took place at the prestigious Guggenheim museum (though replicated by the filmmakers due to obvious reason) in New York.

Owen’s deep baritone voice and his unshaven presence fit the role perfectly though the demure looking Watts at her first attempt as a heroine pales in comparison and to make matters worse, her role is underwritten and somewhat disappear inbetween acts leaving Owen and his captivating performance to hold the fort.

Ironically, given the plotline and various on location shoot that took place from Berlin to New York to Istanbul, it ended with an anti-climax and wrapped with a low-key feel that is totally disconnected with its overall ambitious treatment. Perhaps it’s done on purpose by Tykwer and Singer but credit should be given for their attempt at churning out a good old globetrotting crime thriller that entertains for the whole 118 minutes.


Audio commentary by director Tom Tykwer and screenwriter Eric Singer
– If you are in a somber and serious mood then this commentary track might be for you otherwise some of the information offered by the duo is presented in the subsequent features.

Extended Scene – A fairly interesting sequence that runs 11 minutes involves Salinger and Whitman sharing a quiet moment together and Salinger is shown in a scene with his daughter back at his home. Pity these were left on the cutting floor as it would have given more exposure to their personal lives.

Making The International – Running at a staggering 30 minutes, this feature covers cast-and-crew interviews, behind-the-scenes footages and interesting information bits.

Shooting At the Guggenheim – It took 16 years to build the real Guggenheim and it took 16 weeks to build the replica. Take a look at how the Guggenheim is replicated in an abandoned plant in Berlin for the movie’s shootout sequence.

The Architecture of The International – This feature takes you around the world where the filmmakers went scouting for suitable architects for the movie’s setting.

The Autostadt – The Volkswagen-owned building is featured in this 5 minutes featurette as it’s doubling for IBBC in the movie.

The Code 3 DVD rounds up with trailers for The Taking of Pelham 123, Angels & Demons and Underworld: Rise of the Lycans


The DVD transfer is vivid though the color tones look a bit muted at times but overall it’s an above average presentation. For a dialogue laded movie, the Dolby Digital 5.1 hardly kicks into full gear with the exception of the Guggenheim shootout sequence. Even the score by director Tykwer, Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil seems hardly there.



Review by Linus Tee

Posted on 22 July 2009


. The International (Movie Review)

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. Underworld Rise of the Lycans

. Rachel Getting Married

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. Center Stage: Turn It Up

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. Open Season 2

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. Prom Night

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. Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron

. Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms

. Away From Her

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. The Shepherd

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. The Jane Austen Book Club

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. Walking Tall: Lone Justice

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. Android Apocalypse

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This review is made possible with the kind support from Origin Entertainment


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