This is a dangerous kind of film for me to see.
It is taken from a book
that I have already read and on top of that a book by one of my favorite
authors, John Le Carre. Usually it is hard for a film to live up to the
book on which it is based. This book and film, of course, are The
Tailor of Panama. John Le Carre is famous for such books as The
Spy Who Came In From The Cold and The
Russia House which were also made into movies. Since the end
of the Cold War, Le Carre has sent his world-weary spies into a wider world
including, here, Panama. In The Tailor of Panama, a very world-weary
spy (Pierce Brosnan) is sent to Panama as punishment for a previous scandal.
Once there, he picks out a well-connected tailor (Geoffrey Rush) who dresses,
among others, the President of Panama. Rush is having some severe
financial problems so when Brosnan starts asking him to provide information
in return for cash, he obliges. Unfortunately, Rush doesn't actually know
much in the way of secrets so he makes them up. Rush's wife (Jamie
Lee Curtis) gets caught up in the intrigue as do his other friends and
associates as he creates an imaginary army of revolutionaries in waiting.
``Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."
Needless to say, things go bad as Rush's information turns out to be false.
The Tailor of Panama is by no means John Le Carre's best
work but it nevertheless is entertaining and was written in his signature
style, i.e., the action is murky and deliberate. It is hard to translate
the atmosphere of Le Carre books to the screen but the director, John Boorman,
does a credible job here, particularly in the first half of the movie.
Unfortunately, the second half of the movie gives way to some very cartoonish
action scenes. The cast is at their world-weary best. Brosnan does
a very good job playing James Bond gone bad. As you know, Geoffrey
Rush isn't my favorite actor but he is good here, giving a very muted performance.
Curtis is excellent as the wife whose world comes suddenly tumbling down.
Harold Pinter, yes, the Harold Pinter has a nice cameo as Rush's
Uncle Benny. On the whole, I wouldn't rush out to see this movie.
Maybe just stay home and read a good book.