Samir (Don Cheadle) a Sudan born and raised in US is an expert in explosives which is now making his niche in getting into a terrorist cell in Yemen. In the meanwhile FBI agent Clayton (Guy Pearce) is following Samir and linking the bombings at various places which detours the arrow symbol finally to America. It is not a pay off that Samir is working for US government as it has been a chore in films like “Traitor”.
No one can argue the murkiness of how many lives one has to take to achieve the so called stability and peace. And this has been presented in lot many films which cannot be argued either. For the trend of these films we have seen “Traitor” does a decent work on keeping the story moving and spreading bits and pieces of conflicted opinions on this scenario. But for the same fact, it does not take a different route either. All the key persons would have accumulated frequent flier miles for life time travel and the time span is never mentioned. People are teleported through screenplay without qualms around the world with pressed dress and suits.
I know that in a film which ventures on a thriller does not have so much space and time for its completeness but when a screenplay tries to be serious and tweak the argument, and then it would have to be more careful in what they are showing. Don Cheadle is one of the finest actors in Hollywood. A man with a performance caliber of diverse kind is more than the role asks for. As an undercover operative it is a casual sleep walk for him. In fact that kind of downplays the character a little. His softness does not load up for a fanatic. Samir can any day pass as a true believer but never an undercover agent posing to be a terrorist. Jeff Daniels hardly has a thing to say while Guy Pearce does his part of a good FBI agent well enough as the story allows him to be.
“Traitor” is not a bad movie but a routine film. If I can watch it back I will not be able to find many problems with it. It is the TV film which can be watched as a temporary time killer as your wife or girlfriend prepare to get dressed for going out. It would not bore you and keeps the momentum up and running. It tries to labour around what the methods are really doing to stop the terrorists. Do the agents and task force become like terrorists and get dissolved in the purpose and become fanatics as them? It is no surprise. Once the line of stealth is crossed, there is no difference. And “Traitor” is not the first film to say that.
The predictability is blatant. A kid watching his dad from balcony and the dad enters the car and closes the door. Guess what happens next. Similarly, Samir detonates a remote bomb in a US consulate and comes back to the terrorist head house where his face turns with disappointment when the death toll was a number he did not expect and then he reacts as it is very low to the lead. You know why he is really disappointed. And finally when the moment of all the suicide bombers are about to press the bomb. You know whether they would really result in the catastrophe. These are the scenes which makes “Traitor” a film wherein they are too politically correct and more than that does not want the viewers to feel bad in the end. The discussions are thin and inadequate. “Traitor” is a serious film for its concept and it should have taken it more than thought it did.