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Rendition
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon, Alan Arkin, Peter Sarsgaard, Meryl Streep
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: New Line Cinema
Web Site: www.renditionmovie.com
Kiddie Movie: Only if you want them fidgetting for two hours.
Date Movie: See "Kiddie Movie."
Gratuitous Sex: Douglas has a hot girlfriend, but she keeps her clothes on.
Gratuitous Violence: Only if you count water torture, electrocuting, and a suicide bomb violent.
Action: There's not to much chasing going on.
Laughs: Um, no.
Memorable Scene: Every scene with Meryl Streep playing the cold, hard bitch, and I mean that with the strongest of compliments.
Memorable Quote: Douglas: "I like pie-charts."
Directed By: Gavin Hood
Produced By: Steve Golin, Marcus Viscidi

Rendition
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - R

It's 2:01 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
All I could think about after I left "Rendition" was that there are now a group of soccer players pretty pissed at Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Omar Metwally). If you really want to know why, go and see the movie. Anyway, hereís the basic story.

Anwar is a chemical engineer from Egypt. Heís married to Isabella (Reese Witherspoon), with one son and another kid about to explode out of Isabellaís belly. Heís heading home from South Africa where he was at a conference with fellow engineers. Thereís an explosion in a town in north Africa, and somehow the US government folks have tied Anwar, very loosely, to the ringleader of the group that did the bombing. So, as we have heard stories like this in the news, the CIA kidnaps Anwar, ships him to an unnamed country where that country can torture, I mean interrogate him, leaving Isabella to wonder where her hubby is. The feds say he never got on the plane from South Africa, but Isabella has the credit card charges to prove it.

So, while Isabella is using her old boyfriend (Peter Sarsgaard) who works for a Senator (Alan Arkin), to get information about Anwarís whereabouts, we also have another storyline of Douglas (Jake Gyllenhaal) thrown in as an observer of the torture, um, I mean questioning of Anwar, only Douglas is really a statistician (thereís a funny line where he spouts "I like pie-charts") and not cut out to see a dude stripped naked, electrocuted, drowned, and beaten, all under the watchful eye of head questioner Abasi (Igal Noar). And if that werenít enough to contend with, Abasiís got his own problems at home with a daughter, Fatima (Zineb Oukach), who doesnít want to be set up for marriage because she is in love with Khalid (Mohammed Khouas), whom we eventually find out, but not surprisingly (at least not for me), is involved with a militant group.

Wow, itís hard enough paying attention to poor Isabella having to deal with the government folks, let alone poor Douglas put in a position not really akin to his pay grade, and now Iíve got to worry about Abasiís relationship with his daughter and the ragamuffin she is hanging out with? And yes, of course, you can figure that somehow, someway, even the Fatima and Khalid relationship, is entwined with every other storyline.

And then, if thatís not hard enough, the movie folks try to twist everything up at the end with a different look at the timeline of events that now have you trying to re-piece together exactly what happened from when the bomb exploded to Douglas getting soft.

Buried somewhere in "Rendition" is a great film that would have dealt with the reported snatching up of "terror suspects," shipping them off to somewhere else, and then questioning them, but sadly "Rendition" muddies it all with trying to get tricky with this story relating to that story relating to yet another story and somehow they sort of all tie together.

All of the actors did okay in their respective roles, but as a stalker of Reese Witherspoon I didnít need her pregnant. Sure, it gave some sympathy to her plight, but isnít having your husband taken away in the middle of the night sympathy enough? In the end Iím giving "Rendition" 2 Ĺ stars out of 5. They made the story just too complicated that for much of the film things just dragged on.

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

 

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