Film Review: Breach

31 Aug

Plot: Inspired by the real-life story of Robert Hanssen, Breach follows the search for an elusive mole in the top echelons of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Eric O’Neill (Ryan Phillippe) is dragged from the obscurity of a low-level FBI surveillance job to work directly with one of the most powerful and trusted men at the agency. O’Neill has been handpicked to assist veteran operative Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper) in a new division created to protect all classified FBI intelligence. The idealistic young man is dismayed to discover that his new boss is the subject of long-term, top-secret investigation and that he is expected to infiltrate Hanssen’s treasonous operation. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse, O’Neill must outwit Hanssen at his own game or watch Hanssen destroy him, his family and the nation they are both sworn to serve.

I am nuts about espionage, I devour anything about it big time, be it books or films. So imagine my excitement when I found out that a movie essaying Robert Hanssen’s surveillance and  subsequent arrest made me feel, really really thrilled!

I expected so much from this film, because although enjoyed it, I felt that the filmmakers could have done so much more. Like I said earlier, being a sucker for anything that has espionage written all over it, it was somehow a bit of a letdown not to have seen a few of Hanssen’s dead drops or other spying exploits even in flashback mode, or maybe just showing us a few scenes would have added to the tension and pace of the film. I mena, come on, Hanssen was the worst US spy that ever lived, so they really could have added more stuff in there, IMO.

Acting wise, Ryan Phillippe did quite a good job, I don’t see him as once formerly married to Reese Witherspoon, he showed a lot of promise in this film. Chris Cooper as the troubled, doomed and unrepentant Hanssen was just amazing. Again, this film could have been so much better.

Breach: 3.5/5 

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