Al Pacino plays CIA senior instructor and recruiter Walter Burke. Colin Farrell and Bridget Moynahan play the starring recruit roles. A large part of the film is devoted to CIA basic training, but once again, nothing is what it seems and the audience is never really sure what is training and what is not. Though Pacino’s seasoned acting talent sometimes steals the screen, Farrell and Moynahan have an intriguing innocence in their characters that keeps the audience on the edge of their seat, wondering if this innocence will be lost in a profession that trains to lie and deceive. All-in-all Pacino’s character is well balanced against Farrell and Moynahan’s in an agency that claims to be working for “the greater good.”
Like No Way Out, The Recruit isn’t deep or thought provoking, but its plot twists do engage the brain in an entertaining way and the acting, direction and editing are almost flawless. However, there is something a bit unsatisfying about the endings of both films. Yes they surprise you, and at the same time you say “ah yes,” because the endings are subtly foreshadowed throughout the films, but the endings are no more than a “who done it” surprise. With all the artistry that went into producing these films, they should have produced more artistic profundity in the end.
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