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All the Old Knives (2022)

All the Old Knives (2022)



Chris Pine

Thandiwe Newton


Directed by Janus Metz Pederson


The story was flat, and the leads lacked the needed chemistry to carry out a dialogue driven thriller. How I managed to maintain interest in such a convoluted plot is an applause to my strength. The movie is based on a spy thriller novel of the same name by Olen Steinhauer, who also wrote the screenplay.

I have seen many failed attempts on something smart and this is one of them. I think the movie got so high on its own desire to have a twist ending that it lured me into think this long talk with flash backs here and there was the one thing I was missing in my cinematic history. Then I recall movies like The Big Kahuna (1999), and I know that this has been done better in many other movies before this and I believe many others after it. The movie is a dialogue driven spy thriller dealing with a case of espionage and turning the table on who did it.

The odd thing I felt was missing in this movie is the failed attempt to ignite a chemistry between the leads Henry (Chris Pine) and Celia (Thandiwe Newton). Even though the story was ok at times I wondered how the director did not see that the chemistry was dying the longer the two spent talking.

The movie starts with a terrorist attack on a passenger plane. The tragedy that followed led to the case being investigated deeply to see how such happened. It was discovered eight years later from an interrogation that the only way the plane hijacking could have been done was from the aid of an inside job. The CIA sends Henry to go and interview Celia who is suspected to be the mole.

Henry and Celia used to be lovers during this event, but she left him after the attack was done and has since moved on, married with children. The movie majorly happens in a restaurant where Henry and Celia talk about the past and what happened on the day of the attack.

After the long wait for the movie to end, I did not get enough satisfaction in the idea of the twist and the surprise elimination of the person responsible for helping the terrorist carry out their plans. Movies today try so hard to get so many things cramped into the hours they have been assigned to get their movie done. Which results in movies like this with a great idea, but the simplicity of just making it work is removed and what is added in its place is needless twist and turns. Sexual encounters that seemed forced. And characters who agreed to do this movie but do not have any chemistry with one another. Which makes you wonder if they skipped the screen-testing stage.

You can catch this movie on Amazon, but it is better you do not.


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