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The Recruit Review

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by Phil Hinton Jun 1, 2003

    The Recruit Review
    The Recuit is a plot driven thriller centring on the CIA and the world of spying for your country. James Clayton (Colin Farrell) is an MIT graduate who specialises in computer programs. He is an only child, having lost his father in mysterious circumstances in 1990, and every night he tries to investigate why his father died. During a demonstration of a new computer programme at a trade fair, he catches the eye of Walter Burke (Al Pacino), who pitches the idea of working for the CIA to James. Intrigued at this opportunity, and the fact Burke mentioned he knew his father, James agrees to join and is carted off to the Farm, the CIA training camp, along with a class full of other hopefuls. When in training he meets Layla (Bridget Moynahan) who he begins to fall for, but is Layla all she says she is? James however fails the Farm and is kicked out of operative training, feeling down and out he finds himself drunk in a motel, with someone knocking on the door. Burke has turned up telling James that he in fact passed the training and had been selected as a NOC, the fact he was seen to be thrown out was part of his cover. He is assigned a very special operation; find out which one of the new recruits is working for the other side.

    While some of the twists in The Recruit are predictable, the film still has quite a few surprises up its sleeve, and the plot twists are well crafted keeping you guessing until the final act. The acting is also very good throughout, however I would have liked to seen more screen time for Pacino. This is an intriguing psychological thriller with good pacing and comes highly recommended.