Don Cheadle’s wide array of characters have given us a very in-depth look at the man in front of Hollywood’s wide-eyed lens. From subtly silly roles (Ocean’s 11) to being humbly heroic (Hotel Rwanda), Cheadle musters up his talent once more for the international action thriller Traitor.
Cheadle plays Samir Horn, a traumatized Muslim youth who witnesses his father killed by a bomb. In turn, Horn grows up to become a special operations officer for the United States. Even though such an event was ages ago, he can not relinquish his past and falls in line with the Muhajadeen Muslim faith in Afghanistan.
We stumble upon Horn giving “advice” about explosives to local Islamicists in Yemen. The government tags and bags Horn and his collective, throwing them into a prison that would makethe innmates of Oz shudder. There he comes face-to-face with the FBI. The problem already starts early, though. With Traitor seemingly so loyal to the political thrillers of old, this Syriana-like experience leaves the viewer confused. Where does all of what Samir Horn experienced leave him emotionally and politically? Does his allegiance lie within the Middle East or to the good ole’ U-S-of-A?
He escapes prison with the help of his new “brothers” and so the adventure begins. Director Jeffrey Nachmanoff, best known for co-writing The Day After Tomorrow, is capable of getting all of the excitement for the destinations covered in the flick — Chicago, Washington, D.C., Toronta and Nova Scotia. But into the movie, you’re really trying to realize what’s going on. Although it shouldn’t be hard with allusions from Horn like, “I don’t feel at home anywhere,” and comments like, “He’s caught between traditional Islam and the West,” adding a twist to a unpredictable plot.
The key to Traitor is its moral gradations. The terrorists aren’t Qu’ran-quoting, frothing-at-the-mouth maniacs, they are believers in their cause. As Horn, Cheadle pulls off the impressive task of blending his unique sense of charisma and emotional blankness necessary that comes with being on both sides of the fence. The scene between Cheadle and Said Taghmaoui are electric and engaging in every scene. While audiences may get muddled down by the dialouge, the underlying focus is not on varying philosophies, it’s about the action and suspense.
With keeping the film lean in runtime and plot, you’d be hardpress not to check out this latest from GIANT Magazine’s latest cover model. Traitor is currently in theaters now.
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