Raindance 2013 line-up announced

But did they make a mistake in putting Julian Assange on their jury?

Review: Ain't Them Bodies Saints

Rooney Mara is fantastic in this delicate, sun-soaked Western

Review: About Time

Ever since I was a boy, I always wondered about voice-overs...

Film review: Wadjda

Every now and then, a film comes along that changes the world. Sometimes, you don't even realise it's doing it.

World War H – or hate’s not all that

What do Shyamalan, World War Z and Man of Steel have in common? Hype - and hate.

https://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/222186raindance.jpg https://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/289307aint_them.jpg https://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/600165about_time__1_.jpg https://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/276452wadjda_top.jpg https://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/783758world_war_h.jpg

Star Ratings

Well good


iFlicks on Twitter

Home Reviews DVD Reviews DVD review: The Expatriate
DVD review: The Expatriate Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Monday, 08 April 2013 09:41
The Expatriate DVD review
Director: Philipp Stölzl
Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Olga Kurylenko, Liana Liberato
Certficate: 15

Man gets betrayed. Man's life is erased/Man's daughter is kidnapped. Man fortunately happens to be an ex-CIA agent. Man wreaks revenge. Things blow up.

Put Liam Neeson into that role and you have Taken, Taken 2 or Unknown. Insert Aaron Eckhart and you get The Expatriate. That doesn't mean Philipp Stölzl’s thriller is any better or worse. In fact, there’s no real difference between them. That's the film's best asset - and its biggest problem. Accept it, and this is a perfectly adequate diversion for an hour or two.

Eckhart plays a former agent turned security consultant for the government. But one day, when some sensitive documents go missing, he finds his company, his money - every record of his existence - wiped out. Erased. That's the US title of the film and it's better than the UK one, which only emphasizes the bland identity of its male lead. (Exhibit A: He’s called Ben Logan, the only name duller than John Carter.)

Still, Eckhart does blank facial expression with an admirable efficiency, punching and kicking his way through the workmanlike plot. Olga Kurylenko almost literally phones it in as his former CIA handler and the script dabbles with some truly dire dialogue – "It's no secret that you and Ben were... intimate,” recites one agent, who might as well be called Basil Exposition – but Stölzl’s visuals actually benefit from the film’s plodding pace. No shaky camera work here: the editing by Tomorrow Never Dies’ Dominique Fortin is clean, making the solid action sequences easy to follow.

Combined with Stölzl’s eye for locations – Antwerp isn’t Paris, but it’s unfamiliar enough to add some intrigue – and the impressive Liana Liberato, who convinces more than Taken’s Maggie Grace as Ben’s resourceful daughter, The Expatriate rolls along its unsurprising groove with an unexpected zip.

The most exciting thing about The Expatriate might be its release format - the film debuted on iTunes for two weeks before arriving in cinemas last Friday and, now, onto DVD. But whether you stream it, buy it in HMV or see it on the big screen, this is enjoyably undemanding stuff. There’s nothing Unknown about it, but this low-budget action flick's similarity to Liam Neeson’s back catalogue applies to the entertainment factor too: The Expatriate proves you can have just as much fun as Liam with a lot less money. There are worse lessons to hand down from daddy to daughter.