The Recruit



USA 2003 : Roger DONALDSON : 115 mins

If nothing else The Recruit is aptly named, as this tepid would-be thriller is little more than a thinly-veiled two-hour recruitment film for the CIA. “We believe in good and evil, and we choose good!” bellows veteran spy-trainer Burke (Al Pacino), “Our cause is just, our enemies everywhere – some scary stuff out there!” Stubbled maverick computer-whizz Clayton (Colin Farrell) starts off way too rad to swallow the party line: the CIA are “a bunch of fat old white guys who fell asleep when we needed ’em most.” Yep, we’re squarely in the sombre shadows of the Twin Towers as Clayton, after negotiating endless laborious double- and triple-crosses along the all-too-predictable way, learns to stop worrying and love good ol’ Uncle Sam. Rubbish, of course, though not without a certain chilling topicality.

18th March, 2003
(seen same day, Odeon Gate, Newcastle)

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by Neil Young