A Nail Biter
Dutch pianist Martin (Ryan Phillippe - Chaos) is on his way to Morocco with bodyguard Gavin (Colm Meaney) to set up a food program for starving children. But as they travel by bus Martin is accosted, injected with a tranquilizer and wakes up blind-folded and chained to a chair with Gavin in the same boat next to him. Martin is confronted by Ahmat (Laurence Fishburne - Mission: Impossible III) a Muslim who is not convinced of his reasons for being there and sets about interrogating and torturing him, amputating his fingers one at a time as he tries to force some sort of truth out of him.
"Five Fingers" despite having a storyline which sees Ryan Phillippe's character being tortured and losing his fingers is not for those seeing action and excitement. This is a movie of words, of dialogue and character interplay as we listen to what is being said to understand what is going on. Yes that does mean that "Five Fingers" at times feels laborious but because it sets up an idea early on that things are not as obvious as they first look it keeps us watching even when you get an inkling as to how this will play out.
But it isn't just all dialogue as we also get flashbacks which fill in the gaps and provide some visual idea as to what is going on. Plus of course we have the suggested horror of pianist Martin suffering having his fingers amputated one at a time. All these things along with the rich dialogue make for what is an intriguing movie.
But and there has to be a but as whilst Laurence Fishburne delivers a convincing performance as Ahmat and makes us intrigued by the character, a sense on intrigue also brought on by whether Fishburne would play a terrorist there is also Ryan Phillippe. Now in the right role Phillippe can deliver but this is not the right role for him and he does bring the right level of panic and fear to his character. Now there is a reason for this but early on it makes the character extremely wrong as is Colm Meaney as Gavin who is almost comical in his brief role.
What this all boils down to is that "Five Fingers" is a movie with issues but also an interesting storyline which manages to draw you in to an intriguing hostage situation with that sense of intrigue keeping you watching.