Elevated above the norm by Swedish director Daniel Espinosa’s kinetic visuals, a smart script by David Guggenheim and Denzel Washington’s charismatic intelligence, this exciting spy thriller throws together idealistic rookie Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) and ‘rogue’ CIA agent Tobin Frost (Washington). When Frost surrenders to the US Embassy in South Africa, Weston’s bosses back at Langley have no time to ponder his twisted motives. Minutes after Frost is transferred to Weston’s ‘safe house’ for interrogation, the place is overrun by mercenaries, forcing him and his ‘house guest’ to go on the run. But who should Weston trust: sociopath Frost or his superiors?
The rest is one long, exhausting chase scene, with occasional breaks for slightly stilted dialogue, taking in the Green Point football stadium, the labyrinthine Langa Township, shootouts, and mind-games by Frost. While director Espinosa hones in on the ambiguous battle between Weston’s idealism and Frost’s cynicism, British cinematographer Oliver Wood – who filmed the last two Bourne movies – shoots the hell out of everything.