Different movies are different things. There’s not some goal that every film has to have. You don’t compare Superbad to There Will Be Blood. Although some films are great, and some films are just terrible, the majority are just movies. They are something you watch because you want to be entertained. Body of Lies falls into this category.
I’ll start with what was really good about this film, and the thing that I see as the main point: fat Russell Crow. That is, guys like fat Russell Crow basically run the CIA’s operations all the way from their kid’s soccer practice in Bethesda. They make decisions which are often political and not strategic. Which is to elucidate a much bigger point. The United States is an empire with amazing technological resources that both help us understand the problem of global terrorism while simultaneously distancing us from ever solving the problem of global terrorism. Fat guys like Russell crow will always be calling the shots from their sailboats while grunts on the ground know what’s going on. It’s the paradox of the modern military (see Generation Kill). We’re losing wars because of micromanagement.
That somewhat relevant point was not the only thing positive about the movie. It has some super rad action sequences. Airwolf-looking choppers smoking Land Cruisers. Demolished buildings. Swat team raids. Well-written espionage. Great location shooting. Leo DiCaprio acting like a badass, stabbing bros, getting ripped apart by wild dogs. All of that. It’s Syriana crossed with Black Hawk Down crossed with Blood Diamond. That’s exactly what it is.
The thing that makes Body of Lies just another movie is the ill placed romantic sub plot. [SPOILER] The idea that super spy DiCaprio would trade himself to a group of head-removing international terrorists in order to maybe secure the release of a girl that he kind of has a crush on is a little too far fetched. It’s just bad character development, and a cheap way to drive the plot toward a climax. Also, do whatever you can to exit the theatre before the credits roll. The final song is proof that we are letting the terrorists win. Either way, I still say See It. 6/10.