A decade ago everyone was living in relative happiness. Since September 11 the world has changed. People get "interrogated" at airports for joking comments, security at major events is more intense then ever, and no one boards a plane without at least thinking of the consequences. America are at the forefront on the war on terror but some of their practices are questionable at best. That's probably why movies like Rendition struggle so much to get an audience - American's don't want to know what their government is up to. They don't want to know that they are violating international laws. This movie explores those violations.
What if someone you love...just disappeared? When an Egyptian terrorism suspect "disappears" on a flight from Africa to Washington DC, his American wife and a CIA analyst find themselves caught up in a struggle to secure his release from a secret detention facility somewhere outside the US.
No doubt about it, this isn't a 'popcorn' flick as the film follows several separate, but interwoven storylines. Rendition is a movie which will have you questioning your beliefs. In particular your beliefs that Americans are on the side of 'good' in this War on Terror. No, I'm not saying that September 11 is justified, it was a hideous crime against humanity and the perpetrators must be punished. This movie questions America's actions since that time. Detaining people without charges, torturing for information, and going to all lengths to 'protect' their laws of not torturing anyone on American soil.
While top billing is given to Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon, Peter Sarsgaard, Alan Arkin and Meryl Streep - and each puts in a wonderful performance we must add - kudos must go to Omar Metwally as American/Egyptian inmate Anwar El-Ibrahimi. He plays the role absolutely perfectly as a man who doesn't understand what is happening, finds himself in another country being tortured for information he doesn't have and just trying to survive. One can only hope that he finds more roles in future movies.
All-in-all Rendition is a wonderful movie with a brilliant script, great acting and great directing by Gavin Hood. Most importantly it covers both sides of the world we live in today, but really makes you question who really is on the side of good or evil. Would you torture a man, potentially innocent, in order to stop a terrorist act?
Rendition is presented on Blu-Ray in the films original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 at 1080p using the VC-1 codec. Be it the bright exterior scenes or the darkly lit indoor ones this movie looks quite impressive on Blu-Ray with accurate colours and a sharp image. Indeed there are many moments of quite brilliant colour including a wonderful brilliant orange as a plane comes in to land between 29:17 and 40:01. Overall the movie has a bit of a gritty look, but that goes with the nature of the picture giving it a bit more of a documentary feel as well rather then (what would be) an inappropriate 'Hollywood' gloss.
There are no other audio options on this disc, and the only subtitle option (besides the subtitles for the non-English sections) is one for English SDH which appears accurate to dialogue on screen.
Outlawed (27:41: This really is a brilliant documentary which looks at one real life case of Extraordinary Rendition - someone who is taken away and not seen or heard from while being interrogated. Really worth a look the only disappointment is that it is only presented in Standard Definition.
Deleted/Alternate Scenes (18:11/HD): Five scenes are presented here including an alternate ending. I can't really say that any of these would have added too much to the movie, but the optional directors commentary details why they were cut.
Intersections: The Making of Rendition (30:07/HD): While a little short there is still plenty to enjoy in this featurette which looks at the making of this movie. Plenty of on-set footage and some interesting perspectives are provided.
Review By: Dave Warner