>Movie Review: Body of Lies


This thought just occurred to me: what better way to finance our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan than to place an “operational surchage or tariff” on all of these movies that have come out over the last eight years in which our military and intelligence operations have played a role.

These movies wouldn’t exist if we hadn’t invaded Iraq or Afghanistan. Why should Jamie Foxx, Leonardo Dicaprio, or George Clooney take home a big ol’ paycheck, riding on the backs of all of our soldiers who are putting their balls, or, er, other parts, as some ladies are doing it, too, on the line?

Just a thought.

Movies are great. “Body of Lies” is pretty good.  The film follows CIA operative Roger Ferris, played by Leonardo Dicaprio, and his handler, Ed Hoffman, played by Russell Crowe, as they set about trying to get at a well-known terrorist, Al-Saleem.

The plot is rather intricate, and action moves from place-to-place somewhat rapidly. Manchester, England; Samarra, Iraq; Langley, Virginia; Amman, Jordan; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Incirlik, Turkey; and Dar’a, Syria are some (if not all, I may have missed a couple places) of the places action within the movie takes place. Not a movie that you can read a book, or do homework to; you will miss something and be somewhat lost.

A number of different themes are addressed throughout the movie. We hear the Islamic Call to Prayer a few times. The United States war-fighting concerns and implementation issues were a constant over-arching theme throughout the movie. Stereotypes were addressed; how does one go about creating an adequate intelligence network when the people look different than a Caucasian?

From the Islamic perspective, a couple interesting themes were mentioned. First, we have the idea of the Takfir Methodology. The Takfir Methodology stipulates that Muslims are allowed to act un-Islamic in order to deceive for the purpose of exposing and fighting against the sinful.

Secondly, the notion of dar al-Harb arises. Dar al-Harb refers to the “House of War.” The House of War is that portion of the world where Islam is not the dominant religion. Additionally, if a Muslim were to become one with the dar al-Harb, then that Muslim would become the ‘enemy.’ Muslims are supposed to strive towards making the world dar al-Islam, the World of Islam.

These are notions I have not seen portrayed in other cinematic efforts.

Ferris develops a friendly relationship with a Palestinian woman (I think), and that relationship has some very subtle and some very real consequences.

As the movie unfolds, watch for the constant use of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). About 1/2 way through the movie, while in Dubai, the Burj Dubai is clearly visible in the background. When complete, the Burj Dubai will be the world’s tallest building, a little over 1/2-mile tall.

The movie is worth watching, without a doubt. Enough action and dialogue to keep the plot moving and maintain interest.

The movie is also based on the book of the same name, written by associate editor of the Washington Post, David Ignatius.

Queue it up in NetFlix.

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