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Review: Breach

5 10

Based on true events, a young ambitious fresh recruit in the FBI is re-assigned to monitor and report on a 25-year veteran of the bureau. Apparently, this veteran guy is a sexual predator and, to complicate things even more, he's selling secrets to the Soviet Union. A lot of boring religious talk (yawn) and elementary school intrigue ensue.

This movie should have never been “greenlit” to be on the big screen. It wasn't horrible, but only because of the caliber of acting from actors like Laura Linney and Chris Cooper. The story had a semi-interesting premise, only because it was based on a true story, but what happened just wasn't strong enough to translate well on the big screen; possibly, only a "movie of the week" at best!

Cooper, who plays Robert Hanssen, was pretty good and convincing as a pseudo-patriot/paranoid/Jesus freak. But I think he was too good for how the role was written. One minute, he's a jerk and the next minute he's this father-like figure. This is plausible, but the way it was written in the storyline was like a switch was flicked.

Ryan Phillippe is our fresh recruit, Eric O'Neil (no relation to Linney's character), trying to make "Agent". There was nothing fancy here, which was too bad, since I believe Phillippe is a damn good actor! He's been in the game for quite some time now and he's just on the bubble of success. He needs to do a superhero flick or something to get things moving!

Linney plays Julia O'Neil, the one in charge of the operation to take down Hanssen and Phillippe's contact. I don't think I've ever seen Linney act badly in any movie. She seems to always give 110% and it comes through in this film. Like I stated with Cooper's character, her role was underwritten for her caliber of acting. She was the "comic relief" for crying out loud! (although she was funny).

I think the script needed a few more re-writes. In a nutshell, the film was badly written. No depth to the characters, very slow and waaaaaaay too much religious talk that went nowhere. There were a bunch of scenes that made no sense, but the detail that perturbed me the most -- and it seemed quite relevant to the storyline -- was Phillippe's pager. Without giving too much away, it was used to alert his character when he needed to speak with Linney's character. So throughout the movie, the pager ringer was going off in front of Hanssen obviously causing suspicion. But you know what? They had the vibrate option on pagers back then (2000), so what the f*ck!? For such a covert operation, it was pretty audible!

I want to know who the brainiac was who greenlit this flick for the big screen. I mean c'mon folks; clearly this film should have been made for T.V. Bottom line, if the question is, should you go see this film? I would have to say that unless you like dumbed-down spy thriller films, and I use the word "thriller" lightly, and if you like movies that are slow with very, very little action...then hey, go line up this Friday and enjoy!

Apocalypto (8/10) Blood Diamond (7/10) Borat (9/10) Crank (8/10) Deja Vu (6/10) Eragon (4/10) Flushed Away (4/10) Grudge 2 (5/10) Harsh Times (7/10) Last King of Scotland (6/10) Rocky Balboa (7/10) Stranger Than Fiction (7/10) The Departed (9/10) The Holiday (6/10) The Nativity Story (7/10) The Prestige (8/10) The Pursuit of Happyness (6/10)

-- by Tim Goernert





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