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'The Statement' DVD Review ** 070805
The Work = **
One problem may have been that director Norman Jewison had not directed a thriller in quite some time. This film needed someone like say John Frankenheimer working in his prime. Jewison handles the actors well, getting solid performances from them but not so much with the action and the suspense. 'The Statement' plays rather slow and it is tough to get engaged with what is on screen.
The story is a would-be spy, thriller about a former Vichy Regime soldier Pierre Brossard(Michael Caine) who committed war crimes during World War 2. In the film we see a young Brossard (voiced by but not acted by Caine) commit the crimes under Nazi supervision in a brief opening black and white sequence. The rest of the film follows Caine acting as Brossard. He is an aging man slowly giving away to the passage of time. Good thing for him he still has got some of the old deadly skills, if you know what I mean.
It is a good thing because Jewish hit men are hired to find and kill the elderly Brossard who has gone into hiding. Meanwhile, Colonal Roux (Jeremy Northam) and Annemari Livi (Tilda Swinton) are also on the trail of Brossard but they want to bring him to justice and unravel the mystery of how he has been able to hide for so long. It is a race against time, or elderly stroll against time, as the case may be, to see who can get to Brossard first. Will it be the law? Will it be the hit men? Will you fall asleep before you find out the answer?
Ok, so maybe I am exaggerating. What 'The Statement' really lacks is a sense of urgency. Say what you will about those Tom Clancy inspired flicks, like 'The Hunt for Red October', 'Clear and Present Danger', etc but those films, if nothing else, made the events seem urgent. They built, with some exceptions, suspense based largely on a sense of impending danger. The events had to fly by because time was running out. Here, with 'The Statement', there just isn’t that sense of urgency. The cast is, as I said, solid and do what they can. They all give good performances but it just didn’t make this film entertaining for me.
DVD = ***
All Together = **
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