Film Fans: Espionage drama 'Traitor' is hard to follow

EDITOR'S NOTE - Film Fans runs in the Friday Weekend section of the Gwinnett Daily Post. It features local residents reviewing the film of the week: "Traitor." Want to be a Film Fan? E-mail features@gwinnettdailypost.com.

Two stars out of four

My feelings about this movie are neutral. On the one hand, it overflowed with action and suspense. On the other hand, the storyline eluded me until the last third of the movie, and when the pieces finally fell into place, they failed to stir up any sense of engagement or sympathy. Though Don Cheadle performed brilliantly as usual, he still could not overcome the limitations placed on him by a confusing and apathetic script. Sad to say, but the most memorable part of this movie was the Holiday Inn Express commercial that preceded it.

- Jenni McKinney, Buford

Two stars out of four

While I appreciate the delicate position in which Samir Horn (Don Cheadle) finds himself and also the extent to which he puts himself in further danger to protect others or just to do the right thing, I was disappointed in the amount of politics and religion contained in this movie. I never look to Hollywood in either of those arenas for information because I find them so far removed from my world view.

In the end, Samir turns out to be a good guy but most of the way through the movie, the pro-fanatic Muslim and anti-American sentiment is so strong that it ruins the plot and action for me. There were a couple quotes that seemed especially thought-provoking. According to Samir, Martin Luther King said something like, "If you don't have something you are willing to die for, you don't have the right to live."

- J. P. Zinn, Lawrenceville

Three stars out of four

The movie is a near-gripping espionage drama that features Don Cheadle as Samir Horn. The movie opens with a 1978 scene from Sudan where a young boy (Samir) witnesses the death of his father. From there it speeds into Yemen some 25 years later, when terrorism is at the forefront of the world stage, and he is negotiating a deal for bomb detonators with a terriost network. This movie jumps more than a frog in a pond and while it's very difficult to follow, the movie's plot slowly evolves the real deal.

The FBI and CIA are portrayed as a group of detectives whose internal mistrusts allow tragic consequences to unfold. In the end, the audience learns the truth of Samir's heart and the internal conflicts from a plethora of complex characters. It's not a reach at all to see the similarities here with 9/11.

This movie deserves a lot of credit for its craftsmanship and a fascinating storyline, but its success will be limited due to its inability to hold a cohesive, understandable and appealing progression with broad audiences.

-Rick Wright, Auburn