Closed Circuit Review
If you ever wanted to watch a movie about absolutely nothing, look no further than "Closed Circuit"
This could have really been something. I always like a good political thriller involving terrorists. Apparently show business does too, as one comes out every 1-2 years. I happily ingest all of them, liking the ones I like, hating the ones I don't. The sub-genre seems split down the middle, sometimes coming off a "24-clone." (Which happens to be making a comeback on TV soon.) There have been very smart, clever political thrillers made over the years, which appear to be completely groundbreaking. Others like to tread water with a backwards political mentality.
"Closed Circuit" doesn't really fit into either of those categories, there is a good movie that feels like it slips away almost completely. The film has a nice opening, of a variety of different people going about their daily lives through British surveillance screens, then all of sudden they all go dark due to a terrorist attack. Its a cool opening, how things are set up are very nice. I thought, with an opening like that, and working with a cast that includes Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall, Jim Broadbent, Ciaran Hinds and Julia Styles; I thought I was in for a treat. Sadly, that's not the case. For the cast and the set-up this film couldn't be more boring.
After the opening terrorist attack, Farroukh Erdogan (Denis Moschitto) is detained by British authorities. The British Attorney General places Martin (Eric Bana) and Claudia (Rebecca Hall) in charge of representing Erdogan after his attorney mysteriously died. The two have a past, but they decide to put that on the backburner for the greater good. Both Martin and Claudia are in charge of handling a specific part of the case. As they research, the case becomes very mysterious. Perhaps there are more players involved than to be expected.
By this point in film history, we have seen a lot of double-crossing and big reveals. I don't know if the reveals in "Closed Circuit" were supposed to be big or not since they just come off bland. That is the best word to describe this movie, bland. It seems like director John Crowley is determined to make this thing as un-interesting as possible. Each of these legendary actors comes off stiff, he uses every cliche in the book (Seriously, how many times can political corruption in a political thriller be fresh?), he moves his film at a snails pace, there are even some plot threads that never wrap up for the sake of it. I had to read the Wikipedia page to make sure I was correct on that. There is enough juice to the story, even though it would have felt familiar, it could have been good.
With a great cast and a semi-good idea, it really is daunting to see such great talent go to waste. This is clearly one of the most disappointing films of the year 2013. What a shame.
FINAL GRADE: C-