The Recruit (2003) Review

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James Clayton is recruited to take part in the chance to become a CIA agent by Walter Burke. Who seems to know a lot about his father’s past. Can he work out what is a test and what is real? Everything is about to get rather complicated for James!

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After being recruited Clayton is sent to the Farm which is a CIA training facility, testing him and the other recruits to the limit. He gets on well with Layla Moore. Everything about the Farm will push them to the limits and even when something may not seem like a test it actually still is a test. Which as a viewer certainly makes everything complicated in a good way, as we are also never sure what is real and what isn’t. To avoid any plot spoilers as it really does have plenty of twists and turns I guess I cannot really delve much deeper into it than that outline.

Taking part in the different tests at the Farm is something that makes you wonder how quickly you would surrender or if you can trick the lie detector test by being able to control your breathing. That seems to be something we should all know by now as it is in so many different films, should be easy right? Obviously I am joking with that but they do make it look like a very easy thing to do. The recruits are not only tested as individuals but against each other as well, given tasks that will actually go against another task someone else is doing so that was certainly the interesting side of it all.

Colin Farrell is a very good leading man and does just that in this film. High action and impact it was certainly good to watch him, I will forgive the accent slip where we can hear his Irish accent come through in one scene. Bridget Moynahan was given a good kick ass role and had good chemistry with Farrell. Considering she has had some very different roles during her career it was good to see this more action based, considering I am a massive Blue Bloods fan and have enjoyed her in that over many years now but also not forgetting that she was Natasha in Sex and the City as well! Al Pacino was as charismatic as ever which really is a joy to watch as usual!

An amusing fact comes from the CIA reaction in 2009 when a new recruit reviewed that everyone in the agency believes the film is ridiculous but it is entertaining. Although with that a former Farm student said he recognised similarities with the real farm so I guess we can still try and guess how much in the film they actually got right. I am guessing it is not something that the CIA would really want anyone to know anyway.

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