`Rendition' is painfully boring

Review C

October 19, 2007|By Michael Sragow | Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic

Jake Gyllenhaal has been making the talk-show rounds articulating his resistance to movies that merely sell a message. One wonders what art or entertainment value he saw in the script of Rendition, a movie about the secret detention and torture of suspected terrorists that heats up its ingredients to Fahrenheit 9/11 levels yet renders them all as flat as a pile of communiques.

Omar Metwally co-stars as Anwar, an Egyptian-born chemical engineer who falls out of sight after flying from South Africa back to the U.S., leaving his young son and pregnant wife Isabella (Reese Witherspoon) dazed, confused and fearful. And why wouldn't they be? Rendition is defined as "the practice of seizing and transferring a criminal suspect to a country where covert interrogation and torture are allowed, especially in relation to suspected terrorists." But Isabella's husband is a westernized professional and family man who's lived here since age 14.

Rendition (New Line Cinema) Starring Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Alan Arkin, Peter Sarsgaard, Meryl Streep, Omar Metwally. Directed by Gavin Hood. Rated R. Time 122 minutes.

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