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article imageReview: ‘Closed Circuit’ is endlessly predictable Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Aug 29, 2013 in Entertainment
In ‘Closed Circuit’, the defense team assigned to a high-profile terrorism case is forced to rely on each other when their lives are placed in danger by certain evidence.
It's no secret almost every government of every country is covertly watching its citizens. Surveillance cameras, satellite images, wireless eavesdropping and computer hacking are the backbone of most intelligent agencies, and as many have recently revealed -- we make it easy for them. But even the most keen operation does not always see every play; sometimes all the monitoring still fails; sometimes innocent people are still murdered. In Closed Circuit, a vehicle bomb in a British marketplace leads to the arrest of an alleged terrorist and subsequent court proceedings.
When the defense attorney for an alleged terrorist, Farroukh Erdogan (Denis Moschitto), dies, Martin Rose (Eric Bana) gets the call to take his place. He and Erdogan's advocate, Claudia Simmons-Howe (Rebecca Hall), decide not to disclose their concluded affair to the judge, establishing a penchant for breaking the rules. As they independently dig deeper into the facts, they each uncover clues to a larger conspiracy that people are willing to kill to keep secret.
The title suggests closed circuit televisions would play a significant role in the narrative; instead, it's simply a device used to display the film's action. Though the surveillance cameras are ever present and forever watching, they fail to reveal any significant plot point or act as the crux of any key moment. In the instances in which the TVs would seem most useful, they are underutilized or ignored.
What begins as a possible slow burn turns out to just be painstakingly slow. Other than some court formalities and snarky remarks between the ex-lovers, nothing of importance transpires for the first half of the movie. They perform a few minor exchanges meant to convey their intelligence – which still isn't always in the “on” position – but little else. The subplot about Martin's son is pointless and contributes nothing but a contrived attempt to make him appear less severe. When a chief discovery is finally made, one expects the story to pick up but is forced to watch it plateau and remain in this zone of mediocrity for the rest of the picture.
Little about the script is original, recycling a mishmash of samplings from various courtroom thrillers. Even the dialogue is cliché to the point of being boring rather than unintentionally amusing. In addition, it foreshadows almost every major plot development just before it happens, making the whole movie predictable and uninteresting.
The acting is adequate, but even their hearts don't seem to be in it the majority of the time. Ciarán Hinds barely has to try to stand above his co-stars as their guide and confidante. And Jim Broadbent is at home as the matter-of-fact mentor whose character's main role is well delivered exposition.
Finally, wrapping everything in a nice bow at the end is cheesy and the last straw on a buckling camel's back.
Director: John Crowley
Starring: Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall and Jim Broadbent
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