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This ‘Recruit’ doesn’t take it to the next level

Spencer Beers of Glendale owns a medical manufacturing business.

Driving to a movie this weekend? Then steer clear of “The

Recruit,” a dull, snail-paced and totally predictable thriller.

I had anticipated seeing this Al Pacino vehicle, as the subject


matter -- the training of a young CIA agent and the ensuing intrigue

-- sounded engaging. Unfortunately, the script (a product of three

different screenwriters) managed to scuttle my interest halfway



Pacino plays Burke, the CIA recruiter who enlists a young

programmer/genius, James Clayton, played by Colin Farrell. Farrell’s

character is joined by Bridget Moynahan’s Layla, as his fellow

recruit and love interest. When one of these two washes out of the

academy, the real intrigue begins.

The very real problem here is that with so few well-developed

characters, there are no red herrings for the story to mislead you.

The viewer is left with choices A, B or C and it becomes simple to


figure out who is doing what to whom. In addition, many interesting

scene setups end with a resounding thud, instead of a, “Wow! I didn’t

expect that!”

Despite the three good performances from Pacino, Farrell and

Moynahan, there is not much chemistry between the latter two, and

unfortunately this relationship is key to the plot. Overall, “The

Recruit” is a major disappointment.

“The Recruit” is rated PG-13.


* If you would like to become a Reel Critic and see a movie on

the newspaper’s tab, call entertainment editor JOYCE RUDOLPH at