Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Al Pacino
THE RECRUIT (2003). Director: Roger Donaldson.

Computer genius James Clayton (Colin Farrell of Fright Night), whose father died under mysterious circumstances years before, is recruited by instructor Walter Burke (Al Pacino of Jack and Jill), for the CIA. Clayton joins a group of young hopefuls at the Farm in Langley for training, but seems to strike out after an especially rough exercise in which he thinks he has actually been kidnapped by enemy agents. But Burke tells Clayton that far from being axed  he has been chosen for a covert assignment involving supposed double agent Layla Moore (Bridget Moynahan), another member of the class, whom he is told is trying to steal a CIA-engineered computer virus right out of HQ. But as Clayton gets closer to the woman in order to learn her secrets, will this all turn out to be yet another elaborate game -- or something much more sinister? The Recruit is a mild if entertaining entry in the paranoia sweepstakes, with the leads, including lovely Moynahan, giving good performances. Pacino seems practically like a supporting player in Farrell's movie until the picture's climax in which he has a chance to shine.

Verdict: A paycheck for Pacino. **1/2.

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