Sunday, May 25, 2008


Rendition is the story of an Egyptian-born legal US resident, a chemical engineer with a nice home, two new cars in the garage, and a lovely wife (Reese Witherspoon, always a pleasure) who while travelling abroad receives a wrong number call from a known terrorist. This unlikely event coupled with his knowledge of explosives and his Egyptian heritage are enough to implicate him in a recent terrorist bombing. He is picked up by CIA operatives, detained and tortured.

One of the CIA team members, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, starts to realize that their subject really is innocent. But what can he do? He's the only one. Alan Arkin (who was awesome as the paranoid psychiatrist in one of my all-time favorites Grosse Pointe Blank) plays a Senator whose office is appealed upon to help, to no avail.

Rendition is a solid film for the first sixty minutes, then it loses momentum, dragging on for a full and unnecessary additional sixty-plus minutes.

Meryl Streep (sometimes a pleasure) is the head of the unit that oversees these covert tortures, authorized after 9/11. Her gravitas however, is wasted here.

I'd give it a C+: pass on it.

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