The Expatriate, with Aaron Eckhart, Olga Kurylenko & Liana Liberato. Director, Philipp Stolzl. My attention seems to always be biased towards the big A-Listers, but Eckhart is an actor that I keep an eye on instinctively. A trailer for this film seemed to show a spy, action thriller with little else to recommend it to me. Except Eckhart. Not to mention Kurylenko’s cheek bones.
Eckhart caught my eye in The Rum Diary. His streamlined, Californian looks sort of made me suspicious; in a way that only I can be. Seems to be made of the stuff of stars but, not quite. Two notches beneath officially being handsome. So I paid attention & my interest caught on his seriously good acting & kind demeanor. Which means I can’t imagine he’d be able to pull off playing a villain & I don’t know that much about him. So, on a mental shelf, in my noggin, he has a spot. A quick check of his upcoming projects does show he’s very busy at this time. Good & good.
I’m not familiar with Belgium, so I’ll take the scenes on their face value, that the filming sites are recognizable to someone better traveled. However; one isn’t supposed to really identify anything but people running around, in disarray, trying to solve a mystery & not get shot. It’s a 2nd rate Bourne-like adventure. Which is good & good if you’re looking to be entertained, but not expecting a spectacular.
Come on, ladies. Do you really need an over abundance of sentiment, taking up precious running-around time in a movie in order to watch it. Unfortunately, this film is guilty of the same & I encountered this hellish cinematic mistake in Alex Cross, duly noting all in my review of that film. Why are so many films, inserting these maudlin moments this year, just to get the female vote? Evidently, this movie’s director found it appropriate to have the teen character, in the film, have several meltdowns while her dad tries to soothe her frayed, female-gender nerves. Getting into trouble highlighting all this, am I not?
Anyway, aside from the big baby having juvenile-centric tantrums, wanting to know, “What’s going on!”, the film manages to get along well, with an adequate, if not unusual, plot of stolen secrets, secret betrayals & government black operations.
My male readership will take note of the Soviet beauty, Kurylenko, who played the whore in The Hitman. I couldn’t place her for a second, but recognized her Asiatic features & elegant movements. Her portrayal as one of the many antagonists is confident & sure. What a lovely woman. She’s got a couple of projects wrapping up; I hope to see them. If you keep a lookout for those you admire, a real entertainment is sure to follow. An apt cliche’, but it works.
All in all, this wasn’t a bad film. It’s moments of absurdity were few & its car crash scenes -of course there were, it’s a spy action thriller chase black ops bad guy film- were well done, if not big budget balls of fire.
I recommend it for viewing. It’s better than nothing.