Spy thriller ‘Body of Lies’ keeps audiences engaged


There seems to be a common trend among spy thrillers.

The main character is first introduced as the best spy there is. Then, the villain is portrayed as an evil mastermind bent on destroying the Western world. We then follow the spy as he attempts to bring down the mastermind terrorist. Along his action-packed adventure, he befriends people that at first seem trustworthy, but are all hiding something.

Eventually the spy falls in love with girl, terrorist captures girl, spy goes to rescue girl and defeats terrorist to save the world. Throw in a few surprises and you have the basic body structure for any spy movie.

Ridley Scott’s “Body of Lies” doesn’t stray too far from this cookie-cutter scenario. Based on David Ignatius’s 2007 novel, “Body of Lies” follows the story of CIA anti-terror agent Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio). Ferris attempts to bring down a rising sophisticated terrorist in Amman, Jordan. As he works with the head of Jordanian intelligence, Hani Salaam (Mark Strong), he quickly learns that trust and honesty come first in this relationship, something Ferris’s boss, Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe), hasn’t learned.

Hoffman, who lives comfortably in the United States, battles Ferris for control of the operation while lack of communication and misdirection complicates the already highly intricate spy world.

The plot is well put together with a few surprising twists, but doesn’t allow the insecure feeling of who to trust.

This two-hour spy thriller is able to keep audiences well engaged and never bored. The story showcases the extreme differences between the Washington residing government officials and the down-to-earth field agents.

Crowe presents his manipulative Washington official well and DiCaprio is all too believable in his undercover foot soldier role.

He’s able to keep up with the Academy Award winner and make the action sequences seem real and intense.

The few scenes the two share on screen are filled with believable casual conversation and heated arguments.

Director Scott used similar tactics in “Black Hawk Down” as shots were filmed at locations on-scene that give an unrivaled realness. His use of actual Jordanian residents as extras, along with bird’s eye views from satellites, also alludes to the sense of a military operation in an uneasy and often chaotic atmosphere.

“Body of Lies” is a decent film worthy of your time, but for serious spy lovers, this may all seem standard and mostly predictable.