Monday, December 2, 2013
(2013) The Numbers Station
I remembered a quote from one of my all time favorite movies which was from "Casablanca" and it was a response from Major Heinrich Strasser in which he replied to the Ingrid Bergman character "that human life is cheap". And for the longest time, I was anticipating to see another current movie that can show this, and I was finally relieved that I finally saw another current movie where human life can be perceived as cheap and it happened to be this movie. "The Numbers Station" as the movie indicates is about people using numbers or codes which were used since World War II. In this case, it's run by an underground gov't agency which agents are given orders to execute specific people assuming that the people that're targeted deserved to be killed- this practice operates much harshly than the C.I.A. or the K.G.B. which a person can't just leave once you're in. For it can be compared to the mafia except that the agents have a license to kill without any consequences whatsoever. John Cusack happens to be one of those agents to perform this dangerous task which he could be killed in the process since it operates itself like a contract killing similar to what assassins or a hired hit man does. At the beginning, he successfully executes 3 people at a bar with one person escaping. The agency finds out where he's hiding out and they send Emerson Kent (John Cusack) to finish what he's started, but comes across an obstacle where there was a witness. And this witness gets killed too no matter what the circumstances are. Kent then becomes emotionally bothered by this for he hardly sleeps, since he's a human being too for one of the rules upon joining this agency is that you're not permitted to show any emotion. The agency acknowledges this so they send him to some isolated area in England with a new assignment where he's being ordered to look after a woman who's good at decoding numbers and is labelled as a "cryptologist" or 'code breaker' her name is Katherine played by Malin Akerman. And after she makes several attempts to bond with Emerson Kent is when things start to happen where other people had also discovered there secret locked facility, and have killed the previous "cryptologist" worker as well as her security guard agent. Viewers are then wondering how or if they ever are going to get out of this situation, since both characters of Elizabeth and Kent can't leave this agency and at the same time people are coming after them.
This movie has remnants of 2005 "The Matador" with Pierce Brosnan since the main protagonists can never chose to leave from an agency who seem to have taken a hold onto both of their lives, and "28 Days Later" because of the musical score as well as the direction.
A movie that is less than a hour and a half requires viewers to observe and actually "listen" to every single line that's been spoken, particularly between the characters of Cusack and Akerman since things that are missed may result in not liking the film altogether. In the instance of war in general soldiers fighting onto the field are all pawns of whatever decisions the gov't decides since some wars are not necessary and the analogy of this movie is like a different type of pawn.
Footnote: "Cryptologists" are still being used today as mentioned on a recent 60 minutes segment with something to do with the NSA leaks.
3.5 out of 4 stars