This is a movie sure to spark some controversy. Though one of the few films to portray radical Islam as a legitimate (if not existential) threat, it surely will madden some that the Jihadi terrorists whom Samir befriends are not cartoonish, cardboard cutouts. Their motivations are examined even as their behavior goes unexcused.
Really? It’s not a terribly entertaining movie (certainly it’s got nothing on the Bourne series) and, really, does anyone come away with any greater understanding of, well, anything after watching the film? That it heavy-handedly alludes to the most obvious and superficial motivations for terrorism does not, in my book, make it worthwhile.
Look, I appreciate that the movie made an attempt to portray terrorism in a way that’s more thoughtful than an episode of 24 — it gets an A for intention (if not effort) — but I think I’d prefer Jack Bauer’s dumb-plus-a-gun antics to Traitor’s dreary moping pretty much any day of the week. It’s not that a show like 24 is particular sharp or even particularly good, but what it does have is an appropriate sense of itself: 24 is a violent, stupid action-fantasy — and it knows it; Traitor is fully convinced it’s saying something deep and important, but, I’m sorry to say, it’s just not.