Thursday, April 23, 2009


I wasn't sure if this was going to be an action movie, spy thriller, pro-Muslim, anti-terrorism, anti-American or what. It had a dismal run in the theaters so I wasn't expecting much but I enjoyed it more than I expected to. Beware-spoilers follow.

Don Cheadle plays a Muslim American named Samir Horn. He is an ex soldier and we catch up with him after he has spent several years abroad. He is in the Middle East trying to sell detonators to terrorists. They are attacked by the local authorities and he and a few other survivors are sent to a prison in Yemen. After proving his loyalty to the faith, he is befriended by Muslim extremists and when they break out of prison they take him with them.

Once on the outside he works with the terrorists and helps them make explosives for suicide bombers. After seeing him prove his loyalty and assist in several bombings the movie takes a twist and we learn that he is actually secretly working for the US government to help uncover terrorists who are on American soil just awaiting their orders. His mission is so top secret that the FBI does not even know about it and they end up pursuing him the entire movie. Samir is tormented because of the collateral damage that is caused in order to keep his cover. The point of view and the philosophy of the terrorists and the Americans are both depicted which makes it a little more insightful. It also leaves you questioning Samir's loyalties throughout the entire movie. The climax involves a plot to have suicide bombers blow up greyhound buses in every state across the nation on Thanksgiving.

The cast was great and Cheadle gives a great performance as usual. I appreciated the realistic feel to this movie unlike many others that lose their credibility during the first action scene. I enjoyed the movie just for the sake of the story and the suspense, but I'm still not sure what the intended message behind the movie was. Was it a Muslim propaganda film or just your typical spy movie? I imagine that some Muslims may be offended by some of the stereotypes, but if that's the case I invite them to join the crowds of Amish, Catholics, Mormons, Jews, and Evangelicals who have experienced the same thing thanks to Hollywood. I give it 7.4 stars.

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