‘Closed Circuit’: An Explosive start with a Lackluster Ending

Directed by John Crowley, this tale of how intertwined the legal system and the national security agencies are seems bogged down by muddy headed politics.

A bomb explodes in a local London market killing 100 people. Within minutes, thanks to the network of close circuit TV cameras — a familiar sight in the UK, a culprit is quickly caught.

Only one member of the suspected terrorist cell Farroukh Erdogan (Denis Moschitto) is arrested, but as preparations begin for what promises to be the trial of the century, new evidence is revealed and the case unexpectedly binds together two ex-lovers on the defense team, revealing a twist you could have spotted a mile away.

A high-profile terrorism movie, “Closed Circuit” is laboriously told. It’s weaving of an intricate plot of terrorism, secrets, lies and betrayal merely hangs on a thread.

The main cast, Australian actor Eric Bana and British actress Rebecca Hall, who play defense attorneys and former ex-lovers assigned to defend Erdogan are miscast and exude indifference, appearing at times wooden in their delivery. There is no build up nor back story to their earlier romance.  Bana’s character Martin Rose is handling the defendant’s public hearings, while Hall is the “special advocate” who gets to view the classified evidence and testimony in closed court. She discovers something is amiss and the whole case hinges on a political secret that several people share.

Those unfamiliar with the British judicial system will easily nod off as the movie jumps from the jail cell to the court room complete with political jargon. Julia Stiles has a tiny part as a New York Times reporter who pops up with a conspiracy theory. Irish actor Ciårán Hinds plays a barrister who works alongside Martin and Academy Award winner Jim Broadbent plays the Attorney General.

Directed by John Crowley, “Closed Circuit” tries its best to be a great conspiracy thrillers and it could have been, but this tale of how intertwined the legal system and the national security agencies are seems bogged down by muddy headed politics.

“Closed Circuit” releases in theaters August 30

Pictured above: (r to l) Eric Bana and Director John Crowley discuss a scene on the set.  Pictured below: (l  to r) Eric Bana stars as Martin Rose and Rebecca Hall as Claudia Simmons-Howe Photo credit: Jay Maidment / Focus Features

 

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