Rendition

Last night I watched a movie called Rendition.  Lindsey picked it up at Wal-Mart in the $5 bin the other day.  Oddly enough, she fell asleep two minutes into the film.  It was pretty good, it started out a little slow, but then picked up midway through.  Unfortunately, it tried to have a cool twist, but kind of screwed it up.  There will be spoilers in this post.  So if you have not seen the movie, you might want to stop reading.

The movie is about a CIA practice called extraordinary rendition, where they can basically take someone they think is a terrorist and secretly ship them another country and most likely torture them.  Apparently the movie was based on a few true cases.

The film starts out with a bombing in a North African country, where a CIA agent is killed.  The government then takes Egyptian-American Anwar El-Ibrihimi when he lands in the United States (coming from South Africa) and ships him to the country of the bombing.  Once there he is tortured about his involvement.  He is told that he received phone calls from the terrorist.

While this is happening, his wife back in the United States is trying to find out what happened to him.  She has a friend in Washington D.C., who works for a senator.  She is informed about the extraordinary rendition and that there is nothing her friend can do for her.

At one point, Anwar finally admits to the crimes and he gives up the names of his terrorist buddies.  Jake Gyllenhaal does not believe Anwar is telling the truth.  He realizes that torturing someone is a terrible idea.  He investigates the names and finds out that they are just the names of kids Anwar played soccer with when he lived in Egypt.  Jake decides to help release Anwar and basically quit the CIA, later he is seen contacting the press.

There is another story at the same time about the minister of the interior’s daughter and how she ran away with this boy.  The minister is the guy doing the torturing.  We then learn that her boyfriend is actually a terrorist and is planning on blowing himself up.  Then comes the twist:  he was the bomber at the beginning of the film.  And the girl that tried to stop him (the minister watches a video of the bombing) is actually the minister’s daughter!

The movie makes you think that the boy is going to blow something up while Jake is releasing Anwar.  The reason the minister is not there to prevent the release is because he is looking for his daughter.  You think that he will die, but then you figure out that the boy was the bomber.  As does the minister.

Honestly, it was a pretty good twist, but it was somewhat predictable.  I mean, I knew once Anwar confessed that Jake would find a way to get him out of the prison.  I think it would have been cooler had Jake figured out that Anwar was innocent and went back to release him, but instead found that he accidentally died in the jail.  It would have been much more of an anti-torture message.

Oh well.  I guess this is what you get from the guy who directed X-Men Origins:  Wolverine.  If you like a spy movie or anti-war movies, then you should check it out.

Also, the guy who plays Khalid (the bomber) looks like the Middle Eastern (I apologize if Moa Khouas is not actually Middle Eastern) James Franco.  To the right is Moa, and below is Franco.

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