Closed CircuitReleased on August 28, 2013 2 comments
For the first time in months, we’ve got a summer movie aimed at an adult crowd, or least one that promises something beyond the CGI thumb suckers we’ve had to endure.
“Closed Circuit” revolves around a bombing at a busy London station, and the trial that follows the capture of a suspect. It feeds into the voyeuristic fascination that compels so many of today’s tweeters and trenders, those who think everything they do, such as picking their noses, is worth reporting to various legions of doofuses.
Still, it is this insatiable quest for mindless details that serves as window dressing for a film that wanted to be taken seriously and should have been much better.
Writer Steven Knight already has an impressive CV, having given us “Eastern Promises,” as well as “Dirty Pretty Things,” one of the most underrated films of the last decade. He brings earnestness and gravitas to a story that could have easily gone farther off the rails.
Rebecca Hall is excellent, as always. Playing one of the lawyers assigned to the case, she more than holds her own against a still-snotty and misogynistic British Court System. Much like her turn as an American bank teller in “The Town,” she conveys vulnerability that her character would rather keep to herself.
Aussie Eric Bana on the other hand, is a misfire. His ability to land big roles continues to perplex us. It’s like his acting is caught somewhere between The Method and its British alternative of Outside-In. He fails miserably at both, and the best parts of this movie are the scenes he isn’t in. Women seem to like him, so that’s obviously most of his appeal.
“Closed” loses its footing when it goes the conspiracy route, a tired excuse of a premise that has replaced solid narrative. No one with any sense will argue the NSA, CIA, MI-5 and the rest of the alphabet agencies have a great deal to answer for. Problem is they have become dartboards in flicks like this, complete with one-dimensional, unsympathetic A-holes who love to couch their lack of humanity within the always-vocalized belief that they are serving the greater good.
Ultimately this storyline ruins the movie. Fortunately, getting through it is moderately painless, pretty boy Bana notwithstanding.