Weapons of crass de­struc­tion

Pasatiempo - - Moving Images - Robert Nott The New Mex­i­can

Fair Game, es­pi­onage thriller, rated PG-13, Re­gal DeVargas, 2 chiles What do you do, as a di­rec­tor, with a film that is one part es­pi­onage thriller, one part do­mes­tic drama, and based on fact only inas­much as the truth re­mains shrouded in the in­ter­est of na­tional se­cu­rity?

Fair Game is the pic­ture in ques­tion. It’s the re­al­life story of Joe Wil­son and Va­lerie Plame Wil­son (now Santa Feans) and their quest for truth and jus­tice af­ter she was outed as a CIA op­er­a­tive dur­ing the early years of the Iraq War. The di­rec­tor is Doug Li­man, renowned for his work with the high-volt­age thriller The Bourne Iden­tity and all but for­got­ten as the man who helmed the hip 1996 com­edy Swingers. The film was writ­ten by broth­ers Jez But­ter­worth and John-Henry But­ter­worth. The stars are Naomi Watts as Plame Wil­son and Sean Penn as her hus­band, and it’s based on the po­lit­i­cal scan­dal some­times re­ferred to as Plamegate and on the two pro­tag­o­nists’ au­to­bi­ogra­phies.

This story has all the mak­ings of a good film. It just has too many mak­ings. It jumps right into the thriller realm with some un­der­cover high jinks in­volv­ing Plame Wil­son co­erc­ing a Malaysian with fam­ily ties to a ter­ror­ist group to de­fect to the Amer­i­can side. Then the story switches to the mar­i­tal stress be­tween Plame Wil­son and Wil­son (a for­mer U.S. am­bas­sador) as she runs off on yet an­other CIA mis­sion, leav­ing

As­sign­ing Plame: Sean Penn and Naomi Watts

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