The Recruit

Interesting CIA/espionage training film with the clearly signposted motto: “nothing is what it seems.” Computing whiz James Clayton (Colin Farrell) is recruited out of MIT by veteran CIA operative Walter Burke (Al Pacino). The first half of the film is based around The Farm, the CIA’s training grounds, where “everything is a test.” The second half finds Clayton washed out of the training programme (or is he?), and working undercover for Burke to try and hunt down a mole amongst his former fellow trainees (or is he?). Because you know that there are going to be plot twists involving misplaced loyalties, it’s easy to spot them a mile away. Still, the action rolls along nicely and comes to a satisfying, if not hugely original conclusion. (However, will filmmakers please stop using fake computer techniques and mocked-up screen animations as key plot points? It’s stupid.)