The new spy thriller Body of Lies teaches us nothing if not that the CIA steals souls.
Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a counterterrorist CIA operative in the Middle East. He is searching for the terrorist leader Al-Saleem using intel from his boss, Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe), who may or may not be trustworthy.
The story is much more confusing than this brief synopsis, but not because of all the plot developments. Ferris’ goal becomes vague among countless scenes that meander through environments fragmented by war. Any driving force behind the film is stalled by the cinematic equivalent of reconnaissance, sometimes punctuated by a hollow action sequence.
Even worse, the characters have no depth. So much time is spent covering the details of the operation that the players have no personality save for their relationship to the plot. In essence, this creates a story filled with characters that inspire indifference – the worst possible scenario because they aren’t worth liking or hating. A love story is hastily thrown in, but it’s hard to believe that’s a feasible emotion in this cinematic world.
The film is well made and features some good performances, but “Body of Lies” ends up an insipid and overcomplicated mess.
Rating: 1.5 out of 4 stars