Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Quick Movie Review - The Debt

The Debt - Thumbs Down - also SPOILER ALERT

This is a movie about some Jews hunting a Nazi death camp doctor (Jesper Christensen.)  Sounded promising, but the weird title should have been a red flag. 
Jesper Christensen
Helen, Launching 1000 Ships

Helen Mirren, who I used to think was kind of hot, looks just awful as an old lady who conspires with her spy buddies to lie about killing the old Nazi to avoid the shame of a failed mission.  The lie gets out of hand, and the shame bothers them to different degrees over the years.  Mostly I picked it because I'm a Helen Mirren fan.
Helen's First Movie
Helen Back in the Day
Helen in 2011
Here Helen sports a facial scar that ironically looks like something a German general might have. The Debt uses the same flashback format that fans of Cold Case will recognize.  Helen only plays her character as an old lady. 
Q: Who goes for the face with a knife?
Otto Skozeny, Actual Nazi
(Sword duelling wound)
Helen's character, Rachel, as her younger self is played by the hot chick from The Help (Jessica Chastain.)  The younger characters are a MMF love triangle of Israeli spy/commandos. 
Hot Jessica Chastain
The leader (Marton Csokas) looks like Greg Brady's much more handsome older brother, and the other guy (Sam Worthington) looks like a brooding high school athlete. 

My wife opined that Csokas is much sexier than Worthington.

Marton Csokas
Hot chick and brooder are in love, somehow, in a mutually unrequited sort of way.  We are supposed to discern that Brooder has some special WW II emotional damage baggage he's carting around from all of the unsubtle hints that the film keeps bashing us on the head with. 

Chastain, Contemplative
BMOC is more emotionally tough and opportunistic, not to mention smooth, so natch he hooks up with Hot Chick when she looks vulnerable, and natch she gets "with child."  Oh, Fate, you cruel, constructed master.

The old folks are not very interesting, and their motivation is so weak as to be distracting.  Lots of movie cliches.  So if you enjoy movies where you can figure out what will happen next, you might like this.  But I doubt it.  I'm not completely averse to predictable plots.  But when the obvious turns are dragged out for faux suspense I start to look at my watch and wonder when the pace will pick up.  Really, here the most interesting character is the Nazi doctor, but he's not worth two hours.  It's too late for me but you can still save yourself.  Rent one of the Bourne movies instead.