The Expatriate (2012)

expatriateRoze-Rating: 2 / 5

This film is set in Europe about an ex CIA operative who is looking to move on with his past life of violence and concentrate on being a good father. All that suddenly changes when Ben Logan (Aaron Eckhart) and his daughter Amy (Liana Liberato) narrowly miss a hit murder while they were at the hospital over night. Due to the following day’s strange events, they realise that something has gone terribly wrong, and they may be in the middle of a termination plan as an attempt to cover up a government conspiracy. This also proves to be a time where father and daughter get to know each other even more, but maybe not for the best.

This was clearly a hit and miss film. It overall lacked originality, as you got the sense that it was going to be a Jason Bourne type film. The start may have resembled the Bourne films, but the rest was certainly not. From watching the trailer, you get the sense that it’s going to be an action spy thriller, with some decent action scenes, but this film didn’t seem to offer anything vital, especially to the genre it boasts. Usually with films like this, you expect it to at least shine at something, but this film honestly doesn’t, in terms of the genre, there aren’t any memorable action scenes, characters or quotes.

The film lacked memorable action scenes, and when they did come around, they were short, lacked conviction and didn’t offer any thrills. The character Aaron Eckhart had to play was showcased as an extremely intelligent CIA operative trained to kill, despite this impressive range of skills, the film makers didn’t use any of it to their advantage in any scenes, which made the character seem a lot less impressive and ultimately unrelatable. People want to see a bad ass agent go nuts and partake in crazy secret agent stuff, so that they can go home and think “I wish I was him”, but this character left so little to desire. There was also another problem I had with the film, the hit-men featured to “terminate” their objective were incredibly sloppy and lacked finesse, which are characteristics you wouldn’t expect from a man in that career. This just made the film a lot less believable, because as a professional killer, it would be pretty poor to be spraying bullets everywhere and hitting everything BUT the target intended, so I couldn’t take that aspect seriously.

When it comes down to the plot, there were too many links to Aaron Eckharts character to fully understand who he was involved with, which made it seem like it was made complicated for the sake of it without making it seem intelligent and concise. This made it very confusing at points, and in the end, it really wasn’t worth the brain power and confusion just for something quite petty.

The one bright spark of this film is the female role of Liana Liberato, playing Amy Logan, who was incredibly solid and did her role well. It was nothing more than just solid because the script didn’t leave her much to play with, but this film may give her the opportunity to test that acting skill in the future.

Ultimately for a film of this genre, there should have been more action, a lot more intelligence in terms of the plot and its characters and just a proper emotional connection between audience and character. Positive is that the two main characters pulled out a couple of good performances, but even they couldn’t save such a script.

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