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Interpol is following the works of a Luxembourg-based bank involved in arms dealing and murder. For Louis Salinger this has a personal meaning, because he has been trying to bring down the bank for many years. When a police colleague apparently got murdered in the process of investigating the case, Salinger tries to get closer to the bank’s machinery, and by doing so causes massive retaliation against himself, his colleagues, Italian politicians and also the bank management itself.

For me, you cannot do anything wrong when you cast that most prestigious of second list actors, Clive Owen. He is way better and more subtle and more handsome and more everything than all the A-listers, but he still maintains (whether he likes that or not, it surely will affect his cash check) this appearance of second row, non-obtrusive play (“I like heroes who look as if they could die” is what Ebert wrote about him, exactly!). Really one of my favourite actors at the moment. He gets a bit beaten up here, he gets a bit grumpy and rude when realising that he cannot move within the confinements of his position, and that makes him become a little bit of a rogue, which suits him well.
The film suffers from Tykwer’s desire to show off every bit of architecture coffee table book that he has in his shelf, so a lot of almost fetishist camera approaches to fancy buildings have to be endured. He also endulges in the possibility to use all this money to switch between nice locations, and whether or not it is necessary to at one point have a set piece in Istanbul or Milan or Berlin or Geneva is of no concern to him. As long as it looks nice… That seems to be his problem for a while now: making things look nice is tempting when your budgets grow, and already in “Perfume” did the density of the story suffer from that obsession with beauty and ugliness. This film now again looks splendid, but there could have been more attention to character detail: Naomi Watts’ character is more or less useless. Armin Mueller-Stahl is cast in what slowly becomes his stereotype (or is it his stereotype since “Music Box”?). Some nice grumpy cops, and a rather well-orchestrated destruction of the Guggenheim Museum (with interesting details on how easy it is to get away from a shooting scene undisturbedly, bleeding to death and carrying a massacred man…). The script would have deserved some red markings “excessively annoying dialogue”, but the next bleeding is never far.
Altogether a jolly bit of entertainment, with a nice touch of Germanness about it (sometimes the film can be pleasantly silent, with a very reduced music score).

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