The Recruit (movie review)

I saw The Recruit again this past weekend after not seeing it since the flick came to home video way back in… I dunno, 2004 or so. It should be noted that the original release was in January of 2003, and as you may have noticed this month, January is generally a dumping ground for crappy movies, and while The Recruit may not be worthy of enshrinement on the The Worst Movies Ever list, it certainly has its share of problems.

I have 3 issues with the plot, and they’re all so distracting that they ultimately crack the movie into a thousand pieces, never to be assembled again. It’s really too bad – The Recruit starts out promisingly enough; it’s even engaging, but once we hit the first pothole, things are never the same again.


The movie starts to break down during the Colin Farrell interrogates Bridget Moynahan scene.
When we first meet and get to know Bridget Moynahan’s character, she’s intelligent, capable and tough as nails. During the interrogation scene, she falls to pieces and almost cries. This is supposed to lead us to the plot point that Bridget Moynahan and Colin Farrell want to do the . That’s fine, but the film had already conveyed that, and her behavior in this scene is totally against the character they’ve already established, and the scene shatters the movie’s illusion and from this point forward, it’s impossible to take the movie seriously.

Why is Bridget Moynahan worried about Colin Farrell?
When Bridget Moynahan and Colin Farrell finally do the , Bridget Moynahan becomes suspicious of Colin Farrell for no reason. True, the audience knows she is right to be suspicious of him, but she has no reason to be. She sees him using her computer and then after he leaves, she checks what he was doing, which, as far as she can tell, was nothing. What’s she so worried about? Then she hides one of those silly mics in his coat (that she never bothers to use) and then gives Gabriel Macht a note that Colin Farrell is too interested… or something.
NOTE: Farrell saw her hide the silly microphone inside his coat, so he removes it and sticks it on a dog’s collar instead of just dropping it on the front steps on his way out the door. His way tells Moynahan that he did find the silly hidden mic and he should be suspected, but she never even bothers with the microphone, so she doesn’t know he found it and again, she suspects him for no reason.

If Bridget Moynahan and Gabriel Macht think their assignment is a test, then why does Gabriel Macht try to shoot Colin Farrell?
When Bridget Moynahan gives Gabriel Macht the note, the audience and Colin Farrell can’t tell it’s Gabriel Macht as he’s wearing a big fluffy hood. Farrell chases him down into the depths of a train station and just when Macht has lost him and has a secure hiding spot, he gives away his position by firing his weapon at Farrell’s head. Later, Moynahan tells Farrell that she and Macht think their assignment is a test. If they think their assignment is a test, why does Macht try to kill Farrell over it? He knows Farrell from CIA school, so if he thought he was taking yet another CIA test and someone from CIA school is chasing him, why would he try to kill him? Macht can see Farrell’s face, and yet it’s Macht who fires first after he’d lost him, which makes no sense.

These three points are central to the crux of the second and third acts of the movie and they just don’t work. (Also, this movie goes above and beyond with the product placement – there’s even an ad for a watch worn by characters in the movie inside the DVD case including a list of locations of watch retailers.) I give The Recruit a 6.5 out of 10. It’s not unwatchable, but it certainly isn’t good. It’s passable.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on January 28, 2013, in movie review and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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