‘Recruit’ gives old plot new life

Zack Sparks

I know who the bad guys are in “The Recruit,” and I know who the good guys are. But if you ask me why they’re good or bad, how they became good or bad and who they’re really working for, you will get no more than a courtesy shrug.

“The Recruit” helps to solidify Colin Farrell’s status as a rising star in Hollywood and manages somewhat successfully to hold up to Al Pacino’s high standards. But at the same time, it can be frustrating to watch because of its ever-twisting plot.

Farrell plays a man with a past he wants to know more about — he doesn’t know how his father died — and Pacino’s character seems to have the answers. Pacino recruits him into the CIA.

However, having an overused plot scheme doesn’t really hurt the movie. You’re seeing the same story played out from a different perspective.

The script and story both do a good job of allowing the audience to see that Farrell’s character is an agent with real feelings, unlike most other movie-spy heroes. This gives the movie a sense of depth that is not found in similar movies. Also, the movie has a few spy tricks up its sleeve that some moviegoers may not have seen before.

The dialogue in the film is boiled down somewhat from other CIA/spy movies like “Mission: Impossible.” Actually being able to understand what most of the characters are talking about really helps the movie, and what you don’t know is not very hard to figure out.

My only major gripe with this movie is that it seemed to be only slightly less confusing than a Charles Dickens novel. Maybe there was something major I missed that revealed the whole plot to me.

After all, I did have to sit in the front row and crane my neck to see the movie. But I didn’t see a tell-all moment — I don’t think there even was one.

Without telling too much of the plot, I can say that by the end of the movie, everyone’s working for someone else, everyone’s spying on the spies and the movie just breaks its leash and runs rampant.

All things considered, I’d say that “The Recruit” is a good movie worthy of your time. It successfully finds a mix of familiar spy-game fodder while spicing up the formula with good acting performances and an interesting story.

I’d encourage anyone with an interest in these type of movies to see it. Who knows, you might even see me at the theater. I have to see this one again just so I can figure it out.


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