The Recruit DVD Review

Colin Farrell is quickly becoming a hot property. Ever since I picked up a used copy of "Tigerland" at a local store, I've been a fan. This kid can act, period. However, with a few more movies like "The Recruit" this could be a very short love affair. James Clayton (Farrell) is recruited by Walter Burke (played by Scarface favorite Al Pacino) to take a shot at becoming a member of the CIA. Once in, James falls for Layla (the super hot Bridget Moynahan) another recruit, but Burke knows something James doesn't. Everything Burke knows revolves around Layla. There's not a whole lot more that can be said without ruining this movie for someone who hasn't seen it. It takes a bunch of predicable twists, but the entire movie is simply too shallow to hold itself together in the end. This could've been a decent thriller. The entire first half of the movie revolves around the training of the recruits and is quite interesting (though somewhat far-fetched one would think). The second half turns into a muddled chase and the same line "nothing is as it seems" must be spoken 25 times. It's annoying, mostly predictable, filled with plot holes, and not entertaining in the least. Nothing is really accomplished until the final showdown between Pacino and Farrell making the rest of the movie seem completely worthless. The disc is presented in (and I quote) the directors original 1.77:1 aspect ratio which shows more of the film then was presented in theaters. Is it true? I have no idea. I don't see why the film wouldn't have been shown the same way in theaters. The video is flawless (carrying the THX-certified logo) with only minor spots of film grain. The sound is presented in standard 5.1 or the much deeper DTS 5.1 track. Until the final chapter and a brief car chase, there's not really alot here to show off the sound. If you have the option though, DTS is (as usual) the preferred way to go. Features are standard filler material. You'll get a commentary track from the director (Roger Donaldson) and Colin Farrell. I don't why Pacino isn't here since his character is possibly the most intriguing. A few deleted scenes have been included along with directors commentary (or without, your choice). Nothing here would've helped the story any or made it any easier to understand, they only would've made the film longer and harder to bear. The most interesting feature is an 11 minute behind the scenes look at the CIA training program with actual footage. It's a shame it isn't any longer as it had the potential to be better than the movie. There are plenty of other spy thrillers out there that do this genre justice. The Recruit is a boiled down attempt to try and capitalize on a fairly popular genre and sadly, it's a bad one. Had the DVD itself had some more redeeming features it could almost be recommended (if only for Moynahan), but the standard disc release is quickly becoming obsolete. Also note there's not even a liner card inside listing the chapters.

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