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A masked gunman walks right passed his hiding space. He has nowhere to run, no where to hide, and no one to help him. The sweat drips down his neck as he prepares to make a break for it- hey, why do I get the sudden feeling of deja vu?

When it comes to traditional action films I must admit that I am not a fan. Too often they seems that they use the same script over and over again, and the same is true for the new movie “State of Play.”

The film starts off with a thief running through the streets of Washington DC. The man is eventually caught and killed by another man, who proceeds to shoot a passing pizza delivery boy. The next day a woman is killed in a seemingly unrelated incident. Things wildly spin out of control as Cal McAfferty (Russel Crow) and Della Fry (Rachel McAdams)  attempts to figure out who is behind the murders even as they struggle to save thier own lives in a desperate race against time.

The trouble with this film isn’t the acting, or the soundtrack or even the quality of the movie itself. No, it’s the reliance on an overused genre of moviemaking, as well as stereotypes and cliches  of the newspaper industry. That being said the portrayal of the conflict between new media and old media is pulled off well, as is the acting (I especially enjoyed the part of the newspaper editor Cameron Lynn (Helen Mirran). There also were, I will admit, also a few supprises in the film as well (watch for the cameo appearance of Bob Woodward), and the twist conclusion will have you gripping the edges of your seat until the very end.

For as long as we have film I suppose we will alway have thrillers and action films and if I were to compare this film with others in it’s genre I suppose it is one of the better ones. But when it comes to judging the film in there of itself, it falls short. I would give it about seven out of ten. And in today’s intellectually starved filmaking environment, maybe I’d score it even better.

 

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