Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB
USA/Germany, 2003. Mandalay Pictures, CP Medien AG, Camelot Pictures, Screenplay by Caspian Tredwell-Owen. Cinematography by Phil Meheux. Produced by Dan Halsted, Lloyd Phillips. Music by James Horner. Production Design by Wolf Kroeger. Costume Design by Norma Moriceau. Film Editing by Nicholas Beauman.
Beyond boring. Angelina Jolie plays the wealthy wife of an industrialist’s son (Linus Roache) who is moved by the impassioned speech delivered by a relief worker in Africa (Clive Owen) and decides to work with him. She shows up on foreign shores green and naive, wearing her crisp white linens and whiff of perfume while attending medical camps and inspiring the ire of the man whose dedication got her there in the first place.
Eventually, Jolie and Owen fall madly in love with each other and later find themselves doing the same work in Cambodia while Jolie’s life at home falls completely apart. When Owen goes missing in the Balkan war, Jolie straps into her backpack and flies into the face of danger once again, this time not knowing whether or not the results will be worthwhile or tragic.
The locations are all gorgeous, too gorgeous for a movie about starving, oppressed people as background noise, but the screenplay rambles and only has a ‘message’, not a story. No one could blame these actors for wanting to be a part of telling this tale, but they generate absolutely no heat together, and the film’s concentrating more on their romance than their work is to its own disadvantage.
Giving the script to action filmmaker Martin Campbell is also a bad step, as he has absolutely no idea what to do with it except for take some fancy shots and make sure the sound effects really zing. Perhaps it has weight for Jolie’s fans, but everyone else will be bored stiff.