The Interpreter

I caught a chunk of this movie while channel surfing a week or two ago–from about 15 minutes in for about 20 minutes–that seemed pretty decent, so I TiVO’d it.

I am not all that discriminating a movie viewer–which is funny, because I don’t bother to watch them very often, either–and I have to say, this was horrible.

I mean, it would be cruel to suggest that this movie actually killed Sidney Pollack, but I was thinking just that an awful lot, especially toward the end.

Sadly, IMDB suggests that, in fact, it may have been Pollack himself who was responsible for some large part of its horribleness:

The original twist ending involved Silvia Broome having made up the idea of the assassination in order to blackmail a political official from causing genocide in Africa. Although director Sydney Pollack signed on for that draft it was one of the first things he had changed. This in turn changed a lot of the structure of the script so Scott Frank and Steven Zaillian were brought on to doctor it up.

About the only overused thriller trope that it didn’t indulge in was having the principals sleep with one another; everything else was straight out of “Thrillers for Dummies”, and big wodges of the dialog landed with the wet thud of a movie critic jumping off a building in despair.

Thinking further on it, I think the thing that made me give the film a chance was the fact that the bit I stumbled across included Lyle Lovett’s “If I Had A Boat”.

But Tonto he was smarter
And one day said kemo sabe
Kiss my ass I bought a boat
I’m going out to sea