Sunday, 11 April 2010

Film Review: THE INTERNATIONAL (2009)

Director: Tom Tykwer
Running time: 114 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 15

UK Release Date: 27th February 2009

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 11th April 2010.


This film is about the banking industry and the measures they’ll go to to remain profitable. It doesn’t sound too promising for the outline of an action thriller, but believe me it’s a lot better than it may first seem. The film is set in various locations in both Europe and the US and this is reflected in the international cast assembled for this picture.

Louis Salinger is an Interpol agent investigating the suspicious deals being done by the International Bank of Business & Credit (IBBC). He is working with New York District Attorney Eleanor Whitman, who is looking at the case because of suspicions that the New York branch may be involved. When Stalinger’s partner, Thomas Schumer, is killed shortly after making contact with an informant from the bank, the trail looks to be going cold. But Whitman persuades the informant’s widow to give them a name, Umberto Calvini, an arms manufacturer and political activist in Italy. They meet with him and he gives them information about the bank’s dealings and how they will use debt to stay rich. He goes to speak at a political rally and is assassinated. The bank still wants to do the deal, but now have to work with his sons, and time is running out. Eventually a new informant arrives on the scene, Wilhelm Wexler, who Salinger uses to bring about the inevitable end… which I’m not going to give away.

That’s a very simplified version of events; there are plenty of twists and turns in the plot to keep you amused. It’s a very well made film that was made in some quite exotic locations around Europe and New York. There are some very good fight sequences and stunt work; in particular the gunfight in the Guggenheim Museum in New York is excellent. I particularly liked the performance of Armin Mueller-Stahl as Wilhelm Wexler; he certainly has a lot of screen presence. Honourable mentions go to Clive Owen as Louis Salinger, Naomi Watts as Eleanor Whitman, Ulrich Thomsen as Jonas Skarssen, Brian F. O'Byrne as The Consultant, Michel Voletti as Viktor Haas and Patrick Baladi as Martin White.

Over all it’s not a bad film, a little too long and a little over complicated in the plot department. Well shot with some great locations and some good action sequences. Adequate performances with, for me, Armin Mueller-Stahl being the star turn. It’s not great, but at the same time, it’s not too bad. Recommended for TV viewing on a wet Sunday afternoon.

My score: 6.5/10

IMDb Site:
Official Site:

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