- Movie Rating -

All the Old Knives (2022)

| April 8, 2022

Amazon Prime, what are you doing?  2002 nostalgia?  Is that what this is?

All the Old Knives employs all the old post-9/11 hack-fried government paranoia and disorientation.  A little “24” here, a little Bourne Identity there, fused with the kinds of clip-editing, ominous music and who-do-you trust aesthetics that have padded Liam Neeson’s post-Taken career.  How does one approach it now?  20 years on, what is the point of re-hashing this stuff?

I’m getting ahead of myself.  What is this movie?  Well, I kept asking myself that question while the plot, involving two beautiful former lovers (Chris Pine and Tandewe Newton) reunited after being separated for eight long years.  They were, you see, both members of the CIA and at least one of them might have been a mole whose actions led to a major tragedy.  Can you see the 9/11 aftereffects brewing here?

Years ago, the incident in question took place aboard a hijacked plane in Vienna and the former lovers Henry and Celia and their bosses Vick and Bill (Laurence Fishburne and Jonathan Pryce respectively) were put in charge of diffusing this situation before it could blow up into another . . . . well, you know.

Well, it didn’t work, and yes all on board were killed including both terrorists and hostages.  In the wake of this mess, Henry has to go back and interview and investigate everyone who was working in the office at the time – one of whom has since committed suicide – to weed out the rat who might have been in league with the terrorists.

The movie flip-flops back and forth between the here-and-now and the there-and-then.  In the ‘now’ Henry and Celia are catching up over a very expensive-looking dinner.  In the ‘then’ they are reeling from the tragedy and the inevitable fallout.  The movie really makes no bones about exactly who might be guilty and if you have had any knowledge of film or television in the past 75 years, you can easily put together who the eventual rat in going to be and what will become of them.  I won’t give it away, but let’s just say your first instinct will be right.

I don’t know, once the movie got rolling I checked out.  It’s a long and frustrating experience once you figure out who did it and why.  You end up just watching actors who apparently aren’t as savvy or as conscious as the people on the screen.  That’s too bad because Pine and Newton are exceptionally smart people.  I lost interest in their bond and in their story and kept moving back to the movie that I saw before this – the German film The Girl and the Spider which was about people going through their lives, their relationship and their broken unions.  It was new, original, and surprisingly modern.  Sorry, I guess I’m just not ready to return to the heady days of 2002.  That’s just me.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(2022) View IMDB Filed in: Action, Drama