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</script></div>{/googleAds}Without giving away much of the plot, all I can say is that DiCaprio is cast as Roger Ferris, an under cover CIA operative in Jordan, the Middle-East. His objective - to infiltrate and apprehend terrorists within the ranks of Al Qaeda comes directly from Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe) from the US. Ferris uncovers a lead on Al Saleem, a terrorist leader operating out of Jordan and with the help of Jordanian intelligence chief, Hani Salaam (Mark Strong), sets about a plan to flush out the suspect. But his plans are botched when Hoffman double deals behind his back, earning him the respect of a liar. Short of trust worthy allies, Ferris is caught in a deadly and ruthless situation and must stay alive to secure his target before his cover is blown. Hoffman on the other hand is seen as a result oriented boss working out of the comfort and safety of his own backyard oblivious and inconsiderate of the immense danger the operation poses on his men. While issuing directives in the interest of national security, he often alters laid down procedure jeopardizing the lives of the very people working for him.

Body of LiesThere are several ways in which director Ridley Scott has taken a global theme of the so called â"war on terror" and kept this film from sinking. While the plot relies heavily on the acting prowess of DiCaprio and Crowe, other areas like authenticity of Middle-Eastern culture is spot on. The brief sub-plot of fledging romance between Ferris and an Iranian nurse may be untimely and unnecessary, but in true Arab culture, meeting the family for approval is a must before even considering an evening out as a date. Al Qaeda doesn't just operate from the Afghan mountains anymore. They operate in independent â"cells" and may or may not get their directives from Osama Bin Laden. New factions are on the rise and operate just about anywhere, from the middle-East to countries in Europe. As such, Ferris is seen co-coordinating the strike on terror from not just the US, but from countries like, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Qatar and even the United Arab Emirates. Another aspect integrated into the plot is the fact that the US and her allies are fighting an enemy that claims to be superior in tactics by choosing to be inferior in technology. Satellites and GPS tracking are virtually useless if terrorists don't use cell phones or the internet but rather blow up civilians through word of mouth. It is not easy making a film based on current events without sounding biased. Yet Scott has almost flawlessly depicted the micro-biology of terrorism without tipping the balance of power in the form of propaganda. The one flaw in Traitor and Five Fingers was just that, allowing the audience to believe that CIA intelligence is far superior to that of terrorists. If that's the case, terror in all its forms should have been eradicated by now.

If you liked espionage thrillers like Spy Game and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, you will find that post 9/11, the bar has severely risen where the â"shock and awe" tactic is not only used in real warfare but in spy thrillers as well. This does not have to be a true story to create the impact it does, because innocent people are really dying in the Middle East and all over the free world. Worse is the fact that there are no negotiations on either side of this war on terror. While The Kingdom preferred to showcase a gung ho method of avenging innocent lives, this film differs greatly; when all is lost, there is always the option of devious treachery.

Component Grades
4 stars
1 Star
DVD Experience
2.5 stars


DVD Details:

Screen Formats: 2.40:1

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, English SDH

Language and Sound: English: Dolby True HD; English: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access.


* None

Number of Discs: 1 with Keepcase Packaging