an original screenplay by Malkin and Chad Thumann
While en route from his native Netherlands to establish a food program for undernourished children in Morocco, Martijn and his hired British guide are kidnapped and held hostage by Arab terrorists who do not accept his food program story. Convinced that he is a CIA agent, they torture him in an attempt to make him give up the names of his accomplices.
As long as we stay in the one room where Martijn (Ryan Phillippe) is a hostage and he and his captor fight a duel of wills, Five Fingers is riveting. Flashbacks to the character’s earlier life, though brief and well done, dilute the tension. Not fatally, though. Director, editor and actor have us taut again in moments.
Time-lapse cuts within the hostage scene occasionally open with Phillippe looking less stressed than he should. Make-up (or lack of it) seems the principal problem though actor and director share some fault. This is a quibble on a film of vigorous suspense and a performance of mature quality. Everyone in the cast, including Laurence Fishburne, is very good. But Phillippe, Hollywood’s most underrated actor, is outstanding.
See Rick’s Flicks of 8/23/13 for Phillippe in Straight A’s.
NEXT FRIDAY POST February 10
See you at the movies,