30 June 2007

Movie review: Breach

I was eager to see this movie. I had heard the Fresh Air interview with Eric O'Neill, the young FBI clerk who was key to catching traitorous spy Robert Hanssen, and the interview was great.

O'Neill had such an interesting story to tell and I found my heart pounding when he was describing sneaking Hanssen's Palm Pilot out of his bag to copy the info on it. He had all this great detail - how he had timed how long it took to walk from one end of the building to the other so he would know, to the second, when Hanssen would return, and how he knew he had just enough time to do the deed...exciting stuff! Spy stuff!

But what happened to the movie??

The characters got all boring and flattened out and one-dimensional. The lack of dramatic tension in Breach would be a sin in any movie, but in a spy-catching movie it is just unforgiveable.

The actors give it their best shot. Ryan Phillippe is all young and fresh-faced and brow-furrowy, Chris Cooper is his usual cranky menacing self and Laura Linney plays an FBI agent that smiles about once a decade.

But the script gives these talented people nothing to do. There is no feeling of matching wits, no real indication that a huge amount is on the line for everyone involved.

My suggestion is to listen to the far more enteraining radio interview and save the $4 video rental and an hour and a half of your life.


meno said...

Interesting review. I think i will take your advice and skip this one.

Suzanne said...

Love Chris Cooper, though. I'd definitely pay to watch him, and Ryan P. is sooooo easy on the eyes, so maybe $4 is not that bad a deal.

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