A MOST WANTED MAN – A Review by John Strange

By: John ’Doc’ Strange
Directed by: Anton Corbijn
Cast: Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Willem Dafoe
MPAA Rating: R (for language)
Selig Rating: COMMERCIAL TV 
Runtime: 121 Min.
Set in Hamburg, Germany, A Most Wanted Man follows an Islamic refugee, Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin), who arrives in the city to claim his father’s fortune.  Sadly, the young man has a record as a terrorist from an incident in his teens.  Followed by several different intelligence agencies including the American CIA, the young man hides in the local Islamic community. 
A local civil-liberties attorney, Annabel Richter (Rachel McAdams), who has assisted the community on other issues is engaged to assist him in his task.  She has her hands full to help keep him out of the hands of the authorities until she can get him his inheritance and a chance to stay in Germany.
One of the services arrayed against the young man is led by Günther Bachmann (Philip Seymour Hoffman).  He and his people work behind the scenes to develop information that the other services can use.  They can get away with actions that other departments can’t because, officially, they don’t exist.  He is a chain-smoking spook whose career has been less than stellar.  This might easily be his final chance to do what is right and good for his country.   
Gunther and his team are continuously stymied buy a rival service, one which is allowed in the public eye.  Despite this, his people are better at finding people.  They locate the banker handling the financial transaction, Tommy Brue (Willem Dafoe) and convince him to assist them.  Brue’s heritage, passed down from his father, has made him a banker to the Russian military hierarchy.  He works hard to clean up the banks reputation and distance himself from the Russia
The CIA operative pops up from time to time.  Martha Sullivan (Robin Wright) seems to be more politician than spook.  Whether she is really helping Gunther and his team or not is always in question.  We know she has a hidden agenda, but what is it? 
This film is an adaptation of a novel by John le Carré.  Like Mr. le Carré’s novels, this film is a bit slow and the characters are predictable.  That is sad because the talent arrayed on the screen is top notch.  If you want to see one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last roles, this is certainly one of them. 
The Selig Rating Scale:
FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price
MATINEE – Good movie
DOLLAR – OK movie
CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.
FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.
GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!
Written By
More from John Strange
A CINDERELLA STORY: CHRISTMAS WISH – A Blu-ray/DVD and Digital HD Review by John Strange
Read More
0 replies on “A MOST WANTED MAN – A Review by John Strange”