8:00 PM, 23rd March, 2012
The Debt is the English language remake of the Israeli film Ha-Hov (2007). Directed by John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) it centres on three Mossad agents; Rachel Singer (Chastain), Stephan Gold (Marton Csokas) and David Peretz (Worthington); and their mission in East Berlin during the Cold War to track down the Nazi fugitive Dieter Vogel (Jesper Christensen), aka The Surgeon of Birkenau, and bring him back to Israel to face trial for war crimes.
Thirty years later Rachel (Mirren), Stephan (Wilkinson) and David's (Ciarán Hinds) mission has earned them national celebrity status with their exploits documented in a book written by Rachel's daughter Sarah (Romi Aboulafia). Rachel's role in the success of the mission is particularly notable as she not only went to great personal lengths to entrap Vogel but was also credited with shooting him dead when he tried to escape.
The release of Sarah's book coincides with the tragic death of David and becomes the turning point for the film to begin shifting between 1965 and 1997 in order to explore the hidden secrets and unresolved issues that Rachel and Stephan have about the mission and the lengths that Rachel will go to in order to confront that past.
Except for some slight visual discrepancies between the past and present characters of the three Mossad agents, The Debt is a solid, well-executed retro espionage thriller.
10:09 PM, 23rd March, 2012
Finishing the Film Group's rescreening of the trilogy, this is another fast-paced actioner, the third film based on the Robert Ludlum novel(s) of the same name and again in the expert hands of Paul Greengrass, who also directed The Bourne Supremacy. It picks up from Supremacy with Jason Bourne (Damon) on the run in Moscow and takes us on a thrill-filled ride through locations in Europe, North Africa and the USA, as Bourne continues to attempt to a) stay alive and b) find out who he is.
True to form, Bourne is again on the run from the CIA whose leaders are trying to cover up their own mistakes by 'retiring him with extreme prejudice'. As with the first two of the series, the movie displays high production values and sports a high-power supporting cast, including Scott Glenn, David Strathairn and Albert Finney as Bourne's targets. Julia Stiles and Joan Allen continue their roles from the previous films.
Greengrass delivers an edge-of-the-seat actioner and does not disappoint. The use of hand-held photography discomforted some critics (hence David Stratton's star rating), but in my opinion the style is perfectly in keeping with the action and pace. As I said in my review of Supremacy: it's a 'cracker' of a movie. Even if you've seen it, a second (or third) viewing loses nothing (I have seen them about four times): come along and enjoy the ride!