Friday, September 6, 2013

Closed Circuit

In the opening sequence of "Closed Circuit," a bomb explodes in London, killing dozens.

A suspected terrorist is soon arrested and charged with murder. Because the government wants to keep much of the evidence against him secret, he is appointed both a defense attorney (the always bland Eric Bana) and a special advocate (Rebecca Hall, way too smart for this material) who may see the classified documents in a designated office but may not take them with her or discuss them with her client or Bana. I couldn't get past their failure to disclose their former love affair, a choice which compromises their careers and personal safety as well as their clients' interest. (At least nobody would guess; they have about as much chemistry as a doorknob and a paper clip.) Director John Crowley attempts to imbue the proceedings with conspiratorial intrigue - using CCTV cameras everywhere, including one at the prison that goes suddenly dark at a key moment. But it's all plot, no thought, and ends up highly unsatisfying. Trusty Jim Broadbent comes out best, playing against type as the sinister Attorney General and using his trademark jocosity to deliciously menacing effect. A spoonful of sugar makes the cyanide go down.

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