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STEPHEN'S MOVIE GUIDE

Spartan, 2004  rating

Review: written 2006

Intelligent thriller

Val Kilmer is back to top form here as the secret service agent at the top of his game who finds himself involved in a kidnap of a VIP politician - of course, this is David Mamet, so the plot has a way of going into blind alleys and left turns that you never quite see coming. In fact, do yourself a favour, and find out as little as you can about the plot, you'll enjoy the movie all the more! Having said that, the loose ends don’t quite all tie up, and the ending does not live up to the build-up, but this is only a minor quibble when the acting and script are of this quality.

The music is minimal, and the directing is not flashy, but all serves to further the story - a quality so lacking in Hollywood these days.

The pace never lets up, and the script of course is sharp and real. William H Macy plays a small but pivotal role in a rare serious role, and the rest of the cast exude realism in all the roles, not least Ed Reilly who casts off his Married with Children tag with this one.

This is not one to see just because you want action, but for an intelligent thriller that engages the brain, thumbs up.





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