James Clayton (Colin Farrell) graduates from MIT at the top of his class. He is a whiz about computer programs but Walter Burke (Al Pacino) is about to offer him a whole new opportunity instead of working for Dell or another big company. Walter is a recruiting for CIA and he is certain James would be a great spy. James is indecisive but the fun training, the coolness of the job and hot intern Layla’s (Bridget Moynahan) presence are more than enough to make up his mind. And of course there is the thing that his father might have been an agent as well.
However as days progress, stress climbs up. The training is very severe and not all of the newbies will get to stay. It doesn’t help James that Walter has already spotted his fascination with Layla and the fact that Layla doesn’t seem indifferent either. So he uses this observation to make things tougher on James, as one day he might get to be a fantastic agent.
The problem is James ends up being a pawn in a game where Walter writes the script. Just when he thinks he survived the hard part, Walter assigns him his toughest task: to spy on Layla. She has graduated the program and works for CIA but Walter is certain she is a mole. But how the hell can a former newbie successfully spy on the girl he is mad about, who also got the same extensive spy training as he did?
I love spy/agent films. I love to watch the cat-mouse game, the plot twists and see what great casting has been done this time. I absolutely had a blast watching Tom Cruise’s Knight and Day, and I loved watching Jennifer Garner’s CIA adventures in Alias. Matt Damon performed brilliantly in The Good Shepherd and we all had fun watching him as Jason Bourne. While I am waiting for Angelina’s Salt, I decided to take a look at 2003’s The Recruit. And while I love Al Pacino and starting to become a Colin Farrell fan (he has my respect after all his diversity and the intensity of his roles), I was first attracted to this movie because one of the screenwriters is Kurt Wimmer, the guy who wrote&directed Equilibrium and wrote Law Abiding Citizen, two impressive action/thriller movies with great dramatic undertones. And Kurt didn’t disappoint.
The Recruit is fun and entertaining and full of exciting twists. Sure, you can some of them from a mile away but it is one of those movies where predictability entertains rather than disappoints. Colin Farrell portrays the innocence and “rookiness” of his character perfectly and a really interesting and fun character to watch. Layla keeps us wondering whether she is the bad guy and Gabriel Macht has a small but important role as their classmate/ex cop.
Yes, this is not a life-changing movie. It is not mind-bending. It is just so bloody fun. Rated at 6.5 on IMDB.. Strongly recommended to spy movies lovers, Al Pacino and Colin Farrell fans. Written by Kurt Wimmer, Robert Towne and Mitch Glazer. Directed by Roger Donaldson.
8/10 for the entertainment
7/10 for the overall movie.
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