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A Most Wanted Man - The Review

23/09/2014 10:31 BST | Updated 22/11/2014 10:59 GMT

Günther Bachmann (Philip Seymour Hoffman) orders a black coffee, doesn't say thanks and drinks it.

Later, he lights a cigarette and smokes it.

Then, another black coffee (still no thanks) and a chat with a chirpy colleague who seems to have wandered in from another, sunnier movie. He drinks it. He lights a cigarette. He smokes it.

He looks across the German cityscape, a stunning angular building as his backdrop.

Meanwhile, immigration lawyer, Annabel Richter (Rachel McAdams) crosses paths with Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin), a tortured Chechen who has helped a woman with her bags.

RMA looks concerned. He doesn't look at her, despite the fact she has the magnetic appeal of iron filings.

He has scars. She wants to help Issa claim his father's dirty money, but is she aiding terrorism? Who knows. Is Willem Dafoe a British banker? With that accent. Maybe.

Annabel and the tortured Chechen bond in a room of plastic partitions. Well they try to. He's good at chess but can't relax so he rests on his haunches.

Later, Annabel is in custody. I like the glass blocks in her cell. I wonder how they'd look In my living room.

Ooh, is that Cate Blanchett as Günther's chirpy colleague? She really seems to be making an effort even if he seems distant, his mind partly on his next line and partly on something else.

Ahh no, it wasn't Cate, but Robin Wright.

Before the halfway mark, I considered leaving A Most Wanted Man, Anton Corbijn's tortuous, leaden, almost event-free version of John le Carre's novel. But no, I thought. It's one of PSH's final films, he deserves some respect even if it's so dull my mind wanders to other things, as you've probably gathered.

And the fact there were only two of us in that cinema one drizzly Friday afternoon made me stick around.

In retrospect I shouldn't have bothered. I cared little about any of the characters, was bored by the pace, the plot and PSH spent some time on the phone. He may have been phoning it in. Even without the benefit of hindsight, he didn't look well. Was that intentional for his character, a wheezy chain smoker?

Possibly.

Will I ever watch it again? Under duress, maybe.

It lacks the style and substance of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - the movie version - and while the novel may have been far superior, this was just a solemn, yawnsome exercise in tedium.

Anton had done a far better job with his previous George Clooney offering The American, but for a man who shot some striking album covers such as U2's The Joshua Tree, this just looked dull.

In retrospect, I wondered if a split screen of half the film and half a freshly painted door would have been more interesting and which I or my fellow viewer would have found more interesting.

A Most Wanted Man... A most unwanted movie.