The Recruit (8)

 Copyright © 2003 by Tony Medley


 Iím never going to be nominated for President of the Al Pacino fan club.  His neurotic shtick has gotten far too tiresome.  That said, The Recruit is a fast-paced 105-minute thriller directed by Roger Donaldson, who knows what heís doing.  Donaldson has kept Pacinoís annoying mannerisms under wraps for the most part, and the understated music (Klaus Badelt) keeps you aware that thereís something sinister lurking throughout.

 James Clayton (Colin Farrell, who sports another one of those two-day stubbles that never grows and is never shaved) is a computer expert who has developed a unique computer program.  Heís recruited by Walter Burke (Pacino) to join the CIA, where he almost immediately meets, and is attracted to, the gorgeous Layla (Bridget Moynahan, who looks like an Ashley Judd clone), another recruit.  While they are being trained and trying to keep from washing out, the music keeps reminding us that thereís an undercurrent of something of which we are not aware.  Making the film even more enjoyable, thereís no gratuitous violence, no profanity, and no nudity or free sex.

 Well written, ably directed, and professionally acted, the pleasure of this movie is in not knowing exactly whatís going on, so Iím not going to say any more, except that my attention never waned.

 February 9, 2003

 The End