Overall Impression – Clive Owen proves you CAN have fun in a museum!


Who’s your main character? – Louis Salinger.

What’s he trying to accomplish? – Expose the illegal activities of one of the world’s most powerful banks, the IBBC, and bring it to justice.

Who’s trying to stop him? – The IBBC, and the higher-ups at Interpol who don’t want Salinger pursuing the case.

What happens if he fails? – The bank will continue selling arms to third world countries, facilitating coups to win the next governments’ financial allegiance.


Orphan – Interpol agent Louis Salinger believes IBBC was involved in his partner’s mysterious death. However, he finds himself operating alone as his superiors warn him off the case.

Wanderer – Salinger teams up with assistant D. A. Eleanor Whitman, and they learn that his partner was murdered. Salinger tries and fails to interrogate IBBC’s CEO, discovers that the bank has been bugging his house, and uncovers a money trail of arms deals that takes him and Whitman to Milan.

Warrior – Salinger and Whitman witness a political assassination, and track the assassin to New York. With help from the NYPD, Salinger finds the assassin and his ‘handler’ in the Guggenheim. However, IBBC wants to end its contract with the assassin and sends in its goons. The assassin is killed, but Salinger escapes with the handler and uses him to find an arms deal about to go down with IBBC’s CEO. Salinger plans to get an audio recording for evidence, but he’s discovered…

Martyr — Salinger chases the CEO with a gun. However, killing him is useless: another corrupt banker will merely replace him. Salinger understands that he’ll only be serving his revenge, so he lets the CEO live…


THE INTERNATIONAL has a lot going for it, but a weak Orphan element made it difficult for me to be pulled into the movie.  (At the risk of making myself sound simple, I also found the plot a bit of a chore to follow.)

That being said, THE INTERNATIONAL features some cool detective work, and one of the best shoot-outs I’ve seen in a while. It’s staged inside the spiraling Guggenheim museum, but was shot on a super-realistic set.

It’s hard not to entertain the thought of Clive as James Bond… but that’s a different reality.

– Dan Pilditch

3 Responses to “THE INTERNATIONAL”

  1. Rob U. March 13, 2009 at 1:26 pm #

    Hi Dan,

    THE INTERNATIONAL was the first movie that I applied the questions and archetypes to since I came across this methodology. It’s quite interesting how similar our interpretation was, but you hit the nail right on the head with your review.

    All in all I must say that the Guggenheim didn’t thrill me because I think it was just a small attempt of excitement brought to the film, because the director desperately tried to bring tempo into the story, unfolding events to create the bigger picture until the grand finale. I know the director’s previous work and I assume he tried to adapt the Bourne dogma, but it wasn’t working at all for this plot.

    That story shouldn’t have been told straight out the way it was, everybody knows the power of money, especially nowadays. Only 2 ways this movie could have gone in my opinion: a) Full blown action-flick a la James Bond or b)an intelligent thriller with a secret player who controls the bank, the police, the law but who is still brought down by Salinger and his strongest believe in justice and equality, which we all know will always prevail.


    • danpilditch March 15, 2009 at 7:50 pm #

      Hey Rob,

      totally agree about the Guggenheim action bit. In and of itself, I liked it, but when placed in the context of the rest of the movie it felt a little tacked on… like the movie didn’t know what it wanted to be. Got to admire that set design, though!

      Thanks for your reply,


  2. Jon January 31, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    The Guggenheim set itself was actually created at Steiner Studios for a different film and used on several others before it’s destruction by “The International”. Begs the question of whether the scene was written and intended for the Guggenheim or not?

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