Movie Review – Syriana – Yawn!


Syriana is a thriller of corruption and power related to the oil industry that tells four parallel stories: the CIA agent Bob Barnes (George Clooney) with great experience in Middle East that falls in disgrace after an unsuccessful mission dealing missiles in Lebanese Republic; the investigation of the attorney Bennett Holiday (Jeffrey Wright) related to the merge of two American oil companies, Connex and Killen; the traumatic association of the energy analyst Bryan Woodman (Matt Damon) with the son of a powerful emir of Iran; and the social drama of the Pakistani immigrant worker Wasim Khan (Mazhar Munir) that is fired by the oil company.

Well it’s a long time since I’ve done a movie review, so here you are! It’s been quite a long time since I watched any movies, so there you go..

I’ve got a LOT of movies to catch up, so I’ll bore you with some of the reviews.

Syriana was one of those big hyped movies from 2005, Oscar nominations, these awards, those awards etc etc. I was expecting a lot from it.

It got a solid 7.2 on IMDB, if not for the boring part it’d easily be a high 8.

Frankly the first 20 mins was a complete yawn-fest, I almost turned it off, I know someone that did fall asleep and someone else that did actually turn if off half way through.

It’s a shame as it does get very much better after that.

It’s an intricately woven tale showing the picture from the ground level with Pakistani workers being laid off in the oil fields, the political level, and the level of normal people like you and I with George Clooney and Matt Damon getting involved for vastly different reasons.

It’s a deeply political film and very nicely linked together but slow in parts, it’s definately thinkers film and is closely related to many of the things that have happened in recent times..

I believe it was banned in Malaysia due to some of the sensitive issues it addressed.

The acting was top notch, it’s good to see Clooney taking a meaty role and once again Matt Damon showing his versatility.

Matt Damon

It’s an interesting enough movie, just don’t expect any action, chicks, explosions or humour.

Serious and tense it is, light-hearted it is not.

You have to give it some time and get into the plot, the twists, the power struggles and the back-stabbing. It was based on a book which was apparently based on a real conflict, I have yet to look up who the prince was..but it’s certainly interesting.

I’d give it a worth watching 6.5/10.




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7 Responses to Movie Review – Syriana – Yawn!

  1. Intensecure November 14, 2006 at 9:29 pm #

    I pretty much agree – I found the editing and cuts rather strange, almost trying to make an speedy action movie out of a slow, deliberate thoughtful political expose. And I agree, it really didn’t work until the last half hour of the movie when some real tension did develop, and then I finally felt satisfied.
    Good cast, good script, odd directing IMHO.

  2. vlad November 15, 2006 at 9:06 am #

    Perhaps the editing tries to show how tense it could be if it’s on a real life situation.

    It was never an action packed movie to begin with anyway.

    It’s not great. But it does leave a few room to ponder. People could just do anything for the sake of power and truth.

  3. KY November 15, 2006 at 10:47 am #

    There were 2 movie reviews by you last week, “long time ago” ?


  4. v0ices November 15, 2006 at 11:16 am #

    being at a place where there’s lots of sand and no girls… yea, I think one week (last week) is a very long time

  5. spiller November 15, 2006 at 1:09 pm #

    watched this back in Feb. Prince Nasir was played by Alexander Siddig.

    Puzzle 1: Why they show the execution of Prince Nasir in the dessert, but not the suicide bombing of Wasim?

    Puzzle 2: If CIA is so capable of eliminating their “enemies”, then why are Ahmadinejad, Castro, JI, Abu Sayyaf and al-Qaeda leaders still walking around?

    damn complicated conspiracy i tell u 😛

  6. Applegal November 16, 2006 at 12:18 am #

    I thought it was good, I didn’t find it boring at all.

  7. ShaolinTiger November 18, 2006 at 1:06 am #

    Intensecure: Yah it was kinda odd…it’s definately a tense political thriller, why try and spice it up? They could have learnt a lot from the direction of Constant Gardener.

    vlad: Yah…but the direction just didn’t build the tension until the last 40 minutes or so which is bad. The early character development just left me not caring.

    KY: I wrote this one first (and watched this movie first), just happened I published it last 😛

    spiller: I don’t mean who played him, I mean who was the real prince, if this actually was based on a true story.

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