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Everybody knows since when – maybe the eightees? – that big money and big business is also involved in big crime. So Tom Tykwer doesn’t tell us anything new with the story of Interpol agent Louis Salinger (Clive Owen) who teams up with Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Whitman (Naomi Watts) to bring a big bad bank to justice. The International Bank is involved in arms trading, money laundering, bribing governments and other illegal activities, and inconvenient witnesses are casually eliminated under the aegis of ex-Stasi agent Wilhelm Wexler (Armin Mueller-Stahl).

No big surprises then, which leaves the actors and the one big action sequence to thrill the audience. Clive Owen demonstrates his leading man status (and maybe even recommends himself as a future Bond after Daniel Craig retires) with a tough but vulnerable performance, but Naomi Watts is sadly underused. What saves the day is the big shootout at the New York Guggenheim Museum, an instantly classic action sequence – long, loud, grim and bloody; the best action scene of the year so far. Overall, a bit less German sobriety and a bit more Hollywood action would have made a more memorable experience.

Naomi Watts and Clive Owen in The International  Clive Owen (Louis Salinger) in The International 

The International Movie Trailer

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