June 18, 2003
Peacemaking and temper keeping

I'm watching what I think is a rather under-rated movie, The Peacemaker, which stars George Clooney and Nicole Kidman.

What I especially like about this movie is that the two lead characters, Clooney and Kidman, would in most versions of such a movie story, have had at least one all-out slanging match by now (I'm about a third of the way in), before duly bonding and going after the bad guys. But although they've had several chances to scream and yell at each other, they haven't taken them. Which is entirely right, given the sort of people we are asked to believe that they are, top notch anti-terrorism folks doing ultra-high pressure work. An inability to control emotions under conditions of argumentative stress would not be a (non-) quality that you would want such people to have. They argue their conflicting cases forcefully, but they never let it get personal.

Which also means that they avoid another thuddingly predictable action movie cliché. Instead of consummating their personal relationship, the happy boy-gets-girl-girl-gets-boy ending has them embarking upon such a relationship.

I particularly liked the establishing-of-character scene in which a lady politician lists all the rambunctious and criminal things the Clooney character is alleged to have done while stopping some poison gas finding its way from Russia to Iraq. "Yes ma'am, that is correct." In general, the Clooney character is very convincing, to my eye.

The weakness of the movie is that it has a deeply unconvincing villain. Who – yes, you've guessed it – loves his classical music.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 10:20 PM
Category: Classical musicMovies