Glossy thriller with Al Pacino being the seen-it-all CIA instructor along side Colin Farrell as the young know-all upstart who is being considered for a special assignment. Despite the competent leads, itís the script that lets this film down.James Clayton (Farrell) is rescued from nerd hell as a computing whiz by Walter Burke (Pacino), a CIA recruiter. As James goes through training he learns that the special recruits go to be on the Government-Denies-All-Knowledge Jobs. Itís from there on then, that James starts getting paranoid and second-guessing everything.
These itís-real-except-it-isnít-except-it-is plots can test the patience of the viewer and one can feel a little over manipulated by them. Although not as bad as The Game, The Recruit keeps you guessing for most of the film. To its credit it ties up everything so it doesnít leave you wondering what really happened.
The action is polished with a prompt pace. Colin Farrell has potential as an action hero. That would actually be a shame as he has also shown promise as a proper actor. Yet in these big budgeters he has the charisma to pull it off.
The plot doesnít concern itself with any of those nasty annoyances like credibility or believability, but weíll pay no mind. Itís all trust-no-one spy stuff. If you put on your I-believe-everything-in-James-Bond-could-happen-for-real glasses, then you shouldnít have too many problems with this film.The Recruit just doesnít feel special enough. The by the numbers script is probably the culprit. Pacino may be able to make good with what heís got by playing this on autopilot, but even he is not good enough to cover up a film whose problems stem from the page.