I saw Don Cheadle’s new film ‘Traitor’ in theaters last night. I’d seen the previews and thought it looked pretty cool, but after seeing it I’m really blown away. In general, I enjoy movies that give me a great story, compelling characters, and don’t insult my intelligence. When those are all combined with an action-packed spy thriller with contemporary ramifications, I’m a very happy boy.
Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce really bring the heat as nuanced men trying to do the right thing amidst both sides of the ‘war on terror.’ Pearce isn’t a bleeding heart liberal; rather, he brings a common sense approach to his job that’s focused on the goal of busting bad guys and protecting American lives. However, he does it by learning Arabic, understanding Islam, and asking questions first and attaching electrodes to genitals later.
Cheadle is awesome as always, and he has several badass moments in the film. I wouldn’t peg him as an action actor, but he was right at home in his prison street fight scenes. He also brought such weight to his performance as a conflict-ridden Muslim unwilling to compromise his principles for either extreme side. The Arabic actors all bring nuance to their roles, showing the transition from poor French Muslim kid to potential suicide bomber, all the way through the leaders of the Jihadist movement twisting Islam to fit their war.
The action sequences are exciting, and the film maintains a brisk, entertaining pace. This instantly belongs with the Bourne films in setting a standard for intelligent, exciting action.
Posted on Sep 16, 2008 - 09:14 PM | Leave a Comment