One of the major problems with many film reviewers concerns the difference between movies meant to (1) entertain, (2) movies meant to entertain and instruct, and (3) movies made to reflect and explore the meaning of life, not to mention that fact that some movies (like “It’s a Wonderful Life”) were meant for category one but because of the American Zeitgeist became two, and eventually three.
“The International” will, I fear, remain in group one but is so well done, especially with great action scenes, that it's time well spent at the movies. The director, Tom Tykwer, was responsible for a great four-star film, "Run Lola Run," released in 1998 and he’s yet to do better than that. But while not trend-setting “The International” is most entertaining.
The basic message is one of banker’s greed, so well reflected by the problems America and the World face right now thanks in large part to the greed of those bankers. Their activities make a hungry herd of piranha fish look like elderly ladies of Victorian England walking the park and looking for violets instead of flesh!
Interpol agent Louis Salinger (Clive Owen) and Eleanor Whitman (Naomi Watts), an assistant DA from Manhattan, have been primed to ferret out some most evil bankers who work for the IBBC or the International Bank of Business and Credit. One of IBBC’s major problems seems to be a predilection to not only deal in arms trading but gravitate to second-world countries already deep into debt in order to continue to destabilize said countries and toss them still deeper into that chasm of dept.
Upon learning that the bank is involved with the assassination of a very popular candidate for the next Italian prime minister (who judging by facts in the film would be a super plus to the present man at Italy’s helm), whose death primes the action pump and our heroes wind up at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan for a duel to the death between some extremely vicious hired thugs and a man who if he testifies would strike death to the IBBC. And in order for the incredible shots of that massacre on the spiral ramp of the museum, the film-makers had to build a replica of the place from the skylight above to the floor many ramps below.
I’ll stop there but do not leave as the credits begin to roll in order to find out just who really wins in the end. I will warn you not to invest in IBBC but don't give up hope on the continuation of greed because like bad pennies, the world of banks will continue to roll.