There’s a calculated threat in giving a movie corresponding to this a title with the phrase “Agent Game” in it, lest some waggish critic takes it as a cue to counsel that the onscreen expertise changes their very own private illustration. See what I did there? Hoo boy.
Written and directed by Grant S. Johnson, “Agent Game” begins with a shot of a getting old man sitting on a bench on a curiously empty avenue. Why it’s Mel Gibson! Quickly, he observes one thing, will get up from the bench, removes a gun from underneath his jacket, and begins taking pictures as a mournful cello performs. After which Gibson barks into his cell phone “We have a problem.” We certain do: There’s a loopy previous man on an empty avenue taking pictures at nothing.
At the finish of the film, we do see what Gibson’s character, a shady intelligence bigwig, is so agitated about, however for Johnson covers it in the way in which he doesn’t converse to a need to uncoil a fancy plot a lot because it does to the film’s budgetary constraints.
The film cuts away to Antwerp, Belgium, the place we all know all of the spy motion is and offers a temporal marker. For the remainder of the image, the viewer is unmoored, no less than so far as titles indicating where and when are involved. As an alternative, “Agent Game” juggles three completely different timelines of a single story, which might be an intriguing and interesting method … if the story had any real curiosity to start with.
“Agent Game” declines to specify which a part of the U.S. intelligence alphabet soup it’s coping with—that, one supposes, is a part of its tiresome “point”—however right here’s a linear rundown of the fundamentals: In a “black site,” brokers performed by Jason Isaacs, Dermot Mulroney, and Annie Ilonzeh have an émigré performed by Barkhad Abdi hanging from a hook. Between this and “Good Time” you’d assume that Hollywood was getting some form of revenge on the actor for that “I am the captain now” proclamation in “Captain Phillips.” Anyway, the brokers suspect him of terrorism, or are they solely simply taking part in possum? Issues finish poorly for the man, and Johnson, in an extremely contrived and feeble try at self-insulation, has essentially the most egregious violence in opposition to him dedicated by the character performed by Ilonzeh, who’s an individual of coloration. The agent performed by Mulroney takes it on the lam.
Subsequently, though within the movie the motion is depicted earlier; that is the Antwerp half—a staff of mismatched brokers performed by Adam Canto, Katie Cassidy, and Rhys Coiro (this heroic trio gained’t price Johnnie To any sleep, I inform ya) “extracts” a goal, and brings him, hooded, to a non-public airplane. As soon as on the airplane, the brokers begin getting unauthorized messages on their telephones. Yikes!
That is intercut with scenes of Gibson in Washington, D.C., conducting, properly, job interviews. Seems he’s the man who put the all-star staff of Canto, Cassidy, and Coiro collectively, and positioned Ilonzeh’s character accountable for them.
In case you might be questioning, the hood comes off the man on the airplane at a sure level, and should you be stunned by who’s underneath it, I really feel form of unhealthy for you.
Trying as if it was typically shot in full darkness or one thing prefer it, “Agent Game” is murky nonsense that aspires to get by on what it considers to be a trenchant cynicism about geopolitical chess.