Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillippe, Laura Linney.
time: 111 mins
so dull he forces you to look at the set design, so I ask:
is there a more wooden actor in movies today than Ryan Phillippe?
dull performance in this based-on-fact espionage yarn comes
hard on the heels of his equally uninspiring contribution
to Clint Eastwoods Flags Of Our Fathers. At least in
that one there were lots of explosions to keep us awake.
so in Breach.
While Chris Cooper puts in a great performance as real-life
FBI double agent Robert Hanssen, who betrayed the U.S. to
the Soviets and Russians, pretty boy Phillippe plods vacantly
along in his role as Eric ONeill, the young FBI surveillance
specialist who helped bring Hanssen to justice in 2001.
performance aside, Cooper also deserved a tighter, more suspenseful
script. By concentrating on the last few weeks of the U.S.
intelligence operation to trap Hanssen, the movie skimps over
the 15 years he sold Americas top secret intelligence
and ratted out several Soviet agents secretly working for
the U.S. Some were executed by the Soviets. Countless American
agents were also compromised by Hanssens activities.
who pleaded guilty to spying in order to avoid the death penalty,
is serving a life sentence without parole. He was the mole
U.S. intelligence was looking for over many years, but was
so highly respected he was just about the last suspect on
layered performance shows how the churchgoing family man,
apparently devoted to his country, managed to fool so many.
While Hanssen received more than $1 million in cash and diamonds
from the Soviets, his real motivation may have been frustration
with the limitations of his job and being passed over for
disappointing effort, though the Dateline documentary on Hanssens
double life thats included here IS well worth seeing.