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DVD Review: Traitor

June 3, 2009

I do this pose throughout the whole entire movie.

I haven’t been watching as many movies as I usually do, as I have taken up with a new hobby: grilling. I am fairly obsessed with it right now, and can see why men spend entire summers around the grill. I am buying all the tools, and am grilling practically anything that isn’t liquid, haha.

Anyway, I did take time out to watch the film “Traitor“. I don’t know if reviewing this is toeing the line on Black Cinema, but the film was widely reported on in the Black Cinema Blogs, and The Cheadle is the lead.

Let me begin by saying that thrillers are my very favorite genre, and of the genre, political thrillers are my least favorite, unless they are from the 70’s. They are often confusing, chaotic, hard to follow, with red herrings and subplots all over the place. “Traitor”  has the worst all of those aspects. While perusing, the end-all of film roundups, I saw that this film had a pretty good rating. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why, in the same way I couldn’t understand the praise for “Syriana”, which this flick reminded me of. 

The best that I could figure is that since American film is so messy and commercial for the most part, anything that even pretends to be highbrow and intelligent makes the critics not want to appear like dummies, and they say “I get it, it’s so great” instead of admitting it’s just a big complicated, incomprehensible mess.  The plot, according to is this:

Samir Horn is a former soldier, a devout Moslem, and U.S. citizen in the Middle East selling bomb detonators to Islamic radicals. He joins their cause as both the FBI and a rogue CIA agent track him. Horn escapes a Yemeni prison, goes underground in France where he proves his abilities, and is sent to the United Starts to choreograph a simultaneous and multiple terror attack. Will the intelligence agencies talk to each other, and can Horn be stopped?

Ummm, really? I am what most people consider an intelligent person, and I didn’t even get half of that out of this movie, watching it with full attention. I was so busy trying to figure out who was doing what to who and why that I finally decided that it was an exercise in futility, because ultimately I didn’t care. Rocky Horror says this one isn’t even worth viewing on cable.

On a superficial side note to Don Cheadle: If you want to venture into leading man territory A) Pick a better script B) Show more than one emotion per film C) Maybe eat a few steaks and biscuits (with lots of butter).  A tiny body and a huge head is not the business…you were looking like one of those Easter Island statues, no joke. All crushes on you from “Devil In A Blue Dress” have now subsided. That is all.


Here is the trailer:

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Mangoqueen permalink
    June 3, 2009 8:30 pm

    I was bored to death and stopped watching after 30 minutes. I didn’t give a damn about anyone. When you could give 2 craps about the characters, your film is dead in the water.


    • Rocky Horror permalink*
      June 6, 2009 11:41 am

      Girl, I didn’t know what any of the characters were doing and barely knew who they were. It was confusing–I know it was trying to be fast paced, but it rushed over any important details, like character development. It’s too bad, cause Steve Martin has written some good films…maybe it was the other writers he collaborated with.

  2. June 6, 2009 8:06 am

    Yeah the script shot this movie in the foot, it was trying to be Bourne Identity and Syriana at the same time. But I got to support it since I am afraid Hollywood wont try anything else like it again with a black actor.

    • Rocky Horror permalink*
      June 6, 2009 11:44 am

      The only thing is the Bourne Identity franchise always has a good story, and Matt Damon is really sexy in it. Maybe it would have upped the interest factor to have a few sexy scenes….but *sigh* such is that fate for top tier Black actors–all action, no sexy times 😦 I really wish it would have done well too.

  3. June 9, 2009 8:13 am

    Steve Martin wrote this? Damn, thanks for saving me the trouble. I actually really like Don Cheadle, but haven’t had the patience to watch any of his most recent films “Talk to Me,” “Traitor” … actually, I didn’t even like “Hotel Rwanda” … You know what, maybe I don’t like Don Cheadle movies afterall. Hmm …

    • Rocky Horror permalink*
      June 9, 2009 2:07 pm

      I know what you mean….isn’t it weird–I love Don Cheadle and his role in the acting world, but not his movies–how is that possible? I won’t even mention his part in those “Ocean’s” movies. Just unacceptable.

  4. livingtruth77 permalink
    July 22, 2009 8:50 pm

    So now white dominated Hollywood is trying to convince us that the black man is the source of terrorism against America?!!? Oh the white man’s tricknology is deep and nuanced. lol

    • Rocky Horror permalink*
      July 27, 2009 7:02 pm

      hi livingtruth. yeah, in real life that negro woulda been curtains 10 minutes in, haha!

  5. Kiki permalink
    August 7, 2009 10:00 am

    This review is hilarious and true! I get confused easily in movies, so I really don’t like political thrillers either…I don’t even know why I saw this movie. But I *kinda* got it towards the end even though the beginning was kinda boring. I actually think they could’ve casted someone else, even though I really like Cheadle.

    • Rocky Horror permalink*
      August 10, 2009 2:46 pm

      I had the same experience–it was mad boring throughout, and at the end, I “kinda” got it, but that payoff was certainly not good enough for the 2 hours I wasted 😦 I was disappointed, cause I really like The Cheadle too.

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