Tuesday, August 12, 2014
REVIEW: A Most Wanted Man
A Most Wanted Man
Phillip Seymour Hoffman,
July 25, 2014
2 hours 2 minutes
The death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman brought a lot of sadness and shock to many people around the world. He was considered by many to be one of the best actors of this generation, giving his all in every single performance he gave. However, despite leaving us unexpectedly, he did leave behind a few films that let us see his incredible presence on the big screen one more time. One of those movies is "A Most Wanted Man," a spy movie based on the novel by John le Carré. The film is about a counter-terrorist expert in our post 9/11 world who has his attention now focused on a man who has just immigrated to Hamberg, Germany. The man has been brutally tortured throughout is life and claims to be in Hamberg to collect the money that his criminal father has left for him. Both the German government that Hoffman's character works for and the US government take interest in this man, trying to figure out whether he's telling the truth or is actually a terrorist hell-bent on causing destruction.
The first thing I should talk about is Hoffman's performance, since I'm guessing that's what most people reading this actually care about. Well to be perfectly honest, Hoffman is incredible in this movie. His performance is incredibly subtle and calm, which actually makes his character a lot more interesting to watch. He is able to be engaging, intense, and even a little funny without yelling or doing anything really crazy. Not to mention, his German accent is so perfect that I forgot that he was American for a decent portion of the movie. He was just able to lose himself in his characters, and it's no exception here. If you didn't believe that he was an incredible actor before, then check this film out and see why people even now, 6 months since his passing, are still mourning his loss.
Rachel McAdams dons an interesting German accent here, and she actually does a pretty good job here as the lawyer helping out the suspected terrorist. She's believable in the part and helps to carry the story along well. Willem Dafoe also sports a German accent here, and honestly, he nearly rivals Hoffman's performance in my opinion. While he's in the movie for maybe 30 minutes or so, he captivates almost every scene he's in and delivers some great work alongside Hoffman. Robin Wright also pops up in the movie as a CIA agent investigating the terrorist, and for what she does in the movie, she's gives a very good performance. Everyone here is really good, but Hoffman steals the show, though Dafoe rivals him at times.
While I got confused and even a little bored during this movie, I still think "A Most Wanted Man" is a captivating spy thriller overall. Phillip Seymour Hoffman delivers an incredible performance and one hell of a swan song in terms of leading roles. The story never lost my attention and managed to be thrilling even in its quieter and slower moments. The rest of the actors also delivers solid performances, though none compare to the late leading man. Anton Corbijn has made a spy movie that may very well appeal to anyone who enjoy but fascinating spy flicks that also happen to be slowly-paced. The movie might be doing so well now simply because people want to see Hoffman's final leading role, but in return they're getting something more: an intense, entertaining, yet slow and somewhat confusing thriller with great performances and a story that people can follow and understand mostly, especially considering the times that we live in.
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