The advertising for Body of Lies says something like “Packed with breath taking action sequences” which is essentially a lie. This isn’t an action flick and trying to sell it as such does it an injustice. Either the studio were nervous, stupid or perhaps they don’t think much of the cinema going public. Whatever the reason, Body of Lies is actually a dramatic thriller espionage action movie with some action sequences (impressive) and lots of dialog. I really enjoyed DiCaprio and while I disliked Crow’s character immensely it’s probably because of his acting prowess that he made the man so odious with so little screen time.
The story covers a US CIA agent (DiCaprio) based in the Middle East, trying to get closer to a terrorist leader who is currently coordinating attacks on mainland Europe. DiCaprio and his superior (Crow) differ in how they want to deliver results, with DiCaprio clearly more sympathetic to Arabic and Muslim sensibility. They clash several times and as we proceed to the movie’s climax we see how much both of them are prepared to sacrifice for what they believe in.
I found the dialog absorbing and the roles well played. I can’t comment on whether the movie is an accurate portrayal of the conflict going on in the Middle East or America’s involvement in it, maybe Ridley Scott has spent years researching it, maybe it’s just a pastiche or an impression but it certainly raised some interesting ideas. The action sequences were well done, realistic and gritty and the scenes in the final act were suitably traumatic (I won’t spoil it too much for you).
Ultimately however the ending felt too loose, too open perhaps. Maybe because Crow doesn’t seem to suffer any consequences for his actions, maybe for other reasons. In any case it was like the last rocket of your fireworks evening misfiring, it didn’t spoil what came before but it left me feeling like we’d missed out on something important at the end.