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Body of Lies - Ladue News: Arts & Entertainment

Body of Lies

Threat Assessment

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Posted: Thursday, October 16, 2008 12:00 am | Updated: 9:57 pm, Tue Aug 9, 2011.

Here’s a shocker: Politicians and intelligence officers are ego-driven megalomaniacs who are more concerned with power, control and image than actually doing the right thing. Here’s something else that might stun you: Oftentimes heads of religious factions, terrorist groups and radical fundamentalist organizations are concerned with more than just serving God. They may be in it for the money, the adoration or the power. And the last little bit of startling new information: There are times when the foot soldiers out in the field just trying to do the right thing can be deceived and even deliberately sacrificed for what the oligarchs consider to be a greater good.

    Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a C.I.A. operative, and a good one at that. He is on the ground throughout the Middle East, recruiting ‘good’ guys and killing the bad ones. Pulling Roger’s strings in Washington is Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe). Hoffman is the classic insensitive American fat cat who does what he wants and answers to no one, if this were the Korean War, he’d be Col. Flag from M.A.S.H. The third player is Hani (Mark Strong), the Jordanian head of intelligence.

        Now, one would think that Hoffman and Hani would be working together, certainly Ferris thinks so––but no. So what we are stuck with are two guys calling the shots who care more about their authority than their cause. In the end, what these men ostensibly are trying to do is capture Al-Saleem (Alon Abutbul), a vicious terrorist leader, who, as it turns out, has a bit of an ego issue himself.

    So what we have here is a painstakingly slow, overwrought drama explaining how nobody wins in the Middle East because winning isn’t anyone’s main concern. I love a good spy movie, but this one just isn’t good. It is tedious and unoriginal and if I see DiCaprio play the exact same role one more time, I’m going to jab a fork in my hand.  It's a 3.

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