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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Bank Shot

The International (2009) on IMDb

Plot Overview

money bagsThe International Bank of Business and Credit (IBBC) from its epicenter in Manhattan runs various inter­national conspiracies of money laundering, arms trafficking, organized crime, and political corruption. They have purchased $200 million in Silk­worm missiles from China as a gateway trans­action to access the Chinese burgeoning small arms supply. IBBC is courting a buyer who intends to use the missiles against Israel, but first they need to equip the worms with VOLCON guidance and control systems. Of the two VOLCON manufacturers, Calvini and Sunay, the bank prefers the Italian over the Turk. Unfortu­nately, the Israelis have acquired the counter­measures rendering the missiles use­less, but Calvini doesn't know that. Vice President of Acquisitions André Clément (Georges Bigot) secretly contacts the Manhattan DA's office to arrange a meet in Berlin to give them the dope.

Manhattan ADA Eleanor “Ella” Whitman (Naomi Watts) and her partner Thomas Schumer (Ian Burfield) have been pursuing IBBC for two years with­out getting a break. Thomas goes over for the meet, liaising with Interpol agent Louis Salinger (Clive Owen.) Previous witnesses have ended up dead or disappeared. Some­thing goes terribly wrong this time, too. Arnie, Ella's boss, wants to pull her off the case to prevent a turf war over jurisdiction. Salinger is deter­mined to pursue it with or with­out official sanction. The bank just wants to clean up loose ends that seem to be mounting up. The various players from different countries spout their own philosophies as the death toll climbs.


The Apocrypha is part of the Catholic Bible, and the Wisdom books of the Apocrypha are accepted by the Protestants for edification purposes though they be not included in the canon. Among them is Eccles­ias­ticus, also known as The Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach. (Sirach 4:10) “Be as a father unto the fatherless, and instead of an husband unto their mother: so shalt thou be as the son of the most High, and he shall love thee more than thy mother doth.” From the picture in his office, we sur­mise that Thomas had a passel of children. Ella and Salinger are solicitous of their loss, having children of their own, and they grieve with the widows as they are made.

Wisdom is personified as a female in the following: (Sirach 4:16-19) “If a man commit himself unto her, he shall inherit her; and his generation shall hold her in possession. For at the first she will walk with him by crooked ways, and bring fear and dread upon him, and torment him with her discipline, until she may trust his soul, and try him by her laws. Then will she return the straight way unto him, and comfort him, and shew him her secrets. But if he go wrong, she will forsake him, and give him over to his own ruin.” Salinger had a dry run two years earlier with Scotland Yard, lining up all his ducks in a row against IBBC until his witness was discredited and then killed. He's now graduated to a better approach in dealing with the bank out­side of official channels.

(Sirach 5:15) “Be not ignorant of any thing in a great matter or a small.” Salinger manages to scope out the big picture, and he doesn't neglect to ferret out the bugs planted in his work space.

(Sirach 7:36) “Whatsoever thou takest in hand, remember the end, and thou shalt never do amiss.” He keeps his eye on the goal and doesn't let him­self get bogged down in bureaucracy.

(Sir. 9:7) “Look not round about thee in the streets of the city, neither wander thou in the solitary place thereof.” He is wary of open spaces where he is vulnerable.

(Sir. 9:13) “Keep thee far from the man that hath power to kill; so shalt thou not doubt the fear of death: and if thou come unto him, make no fault, lest he take away thy life presently: remember that thou goest in the midst of snares, and that thou walkest upon the battle­ments of the city.” In the 1970s the KGB practiced assassination on a crowded British street by having their agent bump into a targeted pedestrian using a poison-tipped umbrella. The movie's cloak & dagger opening on a rainy day set the stage for a sur­rep­titious hit. Had Thomas, a self-described simple man from the Bronx, read this verse “that thou goest in the midst of snares” he might have been more on guard. The brisk gun battle behind the spiral, circular balustrades of the Guggen­heim Museum emulates “that thou walkest upon the battle­ments of the city.” The final confrontation on a roof in Istanbul likewise.

(Sir. 9:14) “As near as thou canst, guess at thy neighbour, and consult with the wise.” Salinger had to use both educated guesses and advice from those in the know.

(Sirach 11:10) “My son, meddle not with many matters: for if thou meddle much, thou shalt not be innocent; and if thou follow after, thou shalt not obtain, neither shalt thou escape by fleeing.” There was a lot of bureaucratic red tape Salinger was better off avoiding.

(Sirach 11:20) “Be stedfast in thy covenant, and be conversant therein, and wax old in thy work.” Bringing down this bank was the end result of a long labor of commitment.

(Sirach 25:4-6) “O how comely a thing is judgment for gray hairs, and for ancient men to know counsel! O how comely is the wisdom of old men, and understanding and counsel to men of honour. Much experience is the crown of old men, and the fear of God is their glory.” We had various old men who knew the score.

Production Values

” (2009) was directed by Tom Tykwer. It was written by Eric Warren Singer. It stars Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, and Armin Mueller-Stahl. Owen did a choice job as Salinger, and Watts was competent as Ella Whitman. The rest of the cast worked out well, too.

MPAA rated it R for some sequences of violence and language. It featured marvelous scenery, some fine close-ups & over­head shots, and one action scene of note: a shoot­out at the Guggenheim Art Museum in New York City. Frank Griebe was the cinema­tog­rapher. The buildings were ginormous dwarfing the people inside them as did the institutions they were dealing with. Various cities were labeled on screen and color coordinated to help us orient our­selves geographically.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

This was a well-crafted action film of the David & Goliath motif: lots of brooding menace punctuated by sudden death. It's a little different from its intense cousins of the same genre but engaging and easy to follow. If you think you'll like it, you probably will.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Apocryphal scripture was taken from The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English. U.S.A.: Hendrick­son Pub. Originally published by Samuel Bagster & Sons, Ltd., London, 1851. Print, WEB.