It's a political movie that handle a large portion of U.S government policy overseas, it handle politics surrounding oil companies and terrorism in the middle east, it also tries to show that the U.S government is controlling the entire region, removing and installing whoever they want at all time, and it's based on a non-fiction book called "See No Evil" by Robert Baer. now i haven't read the book and now that I've seen the movie, i'm not going to read it, because it's too complicated, and i'd easily say that this movie didn't handle the materials quite well, because as a motion picture, the main objective would be to simplify and translate it to audience, but it didn't do that as the movie is also too complicated to understand.
It's a story about a CIA agent called Bob Barnes (played by George Clooney) as he get sent to the middle east to employ an assassin to kill an Arabian Prince because as the king there is dying, he have to give his crown to one of his sons, one being the guy who refuses to deal with the Americans and want the oil for his own people called Nasir Al-Subaai (played by Alexander Siddig) whose the one the U.S trying to assassinate and the other would be the spoiled son who got bribed and controlled by the U.S.A, so with so much politics going on and so much policy changes, the mission fails and Bob Barnes gets apprehended, tortured and sent back to the U.S .
The movie handle an enormous amount of politics, it had many people involved in many countries, and it had a lot of references to actual events happened over the years, which makes it exhausting to watch, it's also very Pretentious as it's treat the audience as if they were all familiar with the situations, like we all are history students or something, which means no matter how much the viewer knows about politics, Middle east, oil companies and/or terrorism, you will feel confused at 70% of the time. i literally felt like pausing the movie multiple times just to cursor over to Wikipedia and read about that reference real quick. now, with that being said, here come the major problem with the movie which is being highly encrypted, and not entertaining at all, i mean seriously, if you're going to show me some rich white man in a farm in Texas controlling the situation in the middle east while shooting ducks, you have to at least guide me through it, show me how it's done, don't just refer to it and pretend like we all know about it, because now, it's seems more like a propaganda than a fact, it doesn't mean it's not believable because it's highly believable, but the way it was handled made it suspicious. personally, i love politically charged movies, but this one being too pretentious made it not to my liking.
The movie had a very large cast of good actors, but the problem with that is they're weren't much screen time for anyone, even George Clooney in the main role have few scenes and few lines. the performances were very good for all, but it should be since most of the actors were brought up to say few things and go. Matt Damon brought another good performance along with Jeffrey Wright, Clooney, Chris Cooper and Alexander Siddig. i do give a lot of credits for the casting, because the movie brought Pakistani people to play Pakistani's, Arabs to play Arabs, which is not very Hollywood because movies tend to mix ethnics, races and accents when going to the other side of the world thinking that people wouldn't notice it, but it played carefully with languages, carefully with religious terms and it was deep on many things.
The entertainment falls flat as the movie contained too many short scenes of too many events all happening at the same time, some scenes were as much as 10 to 20 seconds, so you sit there wondering what have you learned from this 20 seconds scene and how is that gonna contribute to the plot and why i'm being updated every 2 minutes about things happening sometimes not even at the same time, why can't they show me the entire thing and then move on to another one, specially the fact being that many of these short scenes involve Jeffrey Wright as an attorney investigating a non-interesting thing about two companies merging together speaking in all legal terms that are too hard to follow as he supposed to show you the corruption within the system, they also tried to slap audience with the fact that the only guy who isn't rich in this one, is the honest upraising attorney who isn't corrupted yet, as they push the fact that he's still living in the Ghetto alone, childless and wifeless.
I know, it sounds like i hated the movie, but i'm not, the movie had a large amount of believability and had very good production value, it was also deep on situations in the middle east, like how foreign workers specially from east Asia are being treated, how easy for someone to exploit them and use them for terrorism purposes, it also showed how most Arabs sitting on the wealth of billion dollars are horrible businessmen that can easily get used or manipulated and it can be an eye-opener on so many other things if the materials was treated properly, not just pushed down our throats, the movie was a bit thrilling and had a good music to it, and was filmed exactly at the locations showing in the movie, which means they hired people from that area, and used actual people in some cases. maybe this is just me nitpicking, but George Clooney Arabic was horrible, i know it's a hard language, but if he was that bad, then alter the scene because it weren't that necessary, i mean he wasn't actually saying words, he was just blurting things that can't be understood, but his performance was good, i don't know if it was that good that he won an Oscar for it, but i guess, the Academy awards are more about appearances than performances and sometimes just about body transformations, furthermore, Alexander Siddig isn't Arabic native as he struggled a lot because he had many lines and not all of them sounded right, but it was decent nonetheless.
Overall, it's too political, even for political movie fans, it also too much and too Pretentious, not very enjoyable but that doesn't make it less valid which is the most important part as the movie can serve as a political overall on the middle east, or political overall on U.S policy overseas, but it needs a understanding of many things to get the movie right, and even then, some references still might sound encrypted, so it's diffidently not for everyone.