The Expatriate – 2012
Ok, let’s see if this sounds familiar. A CIA killing machine who now has a conscience is hunted by his ex-handlers at the CIA. Sounds a bit like the Bourne Identity, right? Ok, let’s try another. A father who has a very special skill set moves heaven and earth(and kills a few bad guys along the way) to get his daughter back. Hmm. Sounds a bit like Taken.
The Expatriate seems to want to replicate the formula of Taken with a dash of Bourne. Put a decently well known star into a B-movie action movie, drop in some minor or foreign stars, mix and wait for the surprise blockbuster. Too bad this film falls short. Where both Bourne and Taken had a certain visual panache to add flair to the action The Expatriate feels ordinary and bland. Also both films had more action in them than does The Expatriate. Is this a thriller? If so where is the suspense? Is this an action film? Ok, where’s the action? The Expatriate works out to be a half-baked film. This was the first script produced by the writer, Arash Amel, and only the fifth film by the director, Philipp Stolzl. Aaron Ekhart(The Dark Knight, Thank You for Smoking) and Olga Kurylenko(Quantum of Solace, Hitman) head the cast and attempt to do a good job, but the material and execution are lackluster at best.
Interesting trivia: Garrick Hagon who plays the villianous James Halgate in The Expatriate has appeared in over 130 films and television shows. He is best known to science fiction fans as Biggs Darklighter in Star Wars or even older SF fans as Ky in “The Mutants” story arc in the 1972 season of Doctor Who.