The poster for “Courier-X” sports a splashy banner reading “The Film the CIA Tried to Stop.” Apparently that’s because the film claims to dramatize the conspiracy theory that the U.S. military was somehow involved in the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800. The CIA has absolutely nothing to worry about. There’s not a shred of drama here.
“Courier-X” is the only listed credit for writer-director-producer Thomas Gulamerian and star Bron Boier, and the inexperience is evident, despite the presence of established actors such as Udo Kier and James C. Burns. Boier plays a small-time gem smuggler contacted by the CIA, and the only character who gets something of a sketchy back story and personal life. That’s for naught, because his performance is wooden and devoid of charisma. The choppy editing and overly long scenes don’t help his case.
The film clocks in at a hefty 2 hours 14 minutes, filled mostly by growled dialogue between smugglers and mobsters and CIA agents. They walk and talk, sit and talk, call each other up on the phone and talk, all in the low-frequency tone of covert operations. There are far too many characters, including a small part for an actor playing journalist Gary Webb, who wrote about the link among the CIA, Central American drug dealers, the anti-communist Contras in Nicaragua and cocaine sales in the U.S. This should lend some conspiracy theory bona fides to the film, but it’s of no matter. “Courier-X” is so inscrutable and tediously boring that it will test the patience of even the most tenacious truther.
Running time: 2 hours, 14 minutes
Playing: Laemmle NoHo 7, North Hollywood