Rendition Gavin Hood

Rendition Gavin Hood
Among last year’s slew of anti-war, post-9/11 message films, Gavin Hood’s Rendition still stands its ground and provokes enough thought to be legit. A super-high anxiety denial of due process espionage thriller, Rendition places a leftist spotlight on the controversial, highly contested policy of detention, disappearance and torture of terrorism suspects legalised under that nasty little thing called the Patriot Act. The film follows the impending doom of an Egyptian born American chemical engineer (Omar Metwally) who’s secretly cuffed, bagged and deported from America and slung into to an unknown Middle Eastern torture chamber, where he receives beatings by CIA appointed interrogators, who are banking on some rather flimsy evidence. Reese Witherspoon plays the woman in this battered man’s corner, his very distraught and very pregnant wife Isabella. Refusing to take "no” for an answer from the White House’s shadowy suits, Isabella goes on a quest through Washington’s tight-lipped officials, demanding an explanation for her sudden loss. Meanwhile, a CIA rookie (Jake Gyllenhaal) is assigned to baby-sit the interrogation and suffers an occupational meltdown as the sheer brutality of torture sets in. It’s a grainy and hard-knock approach to explaining America’s sketchy brand of homeland security and for the most part, it works well as a necessary piece of shock treatment for the American ego. Reese shines as an orthodox symbol for hope and truth, rendering the men around her wimpy and ball-less. New Line has done an impressive job of putting together a collection of bonus material that fans of all political affinities will enjoy. Gavin Hood’s commentary track is a fitting supplement to the film, as he passionately articulates the ramifications of living in a country where human rights hold little to no meaning. Short documentary "Outlawed” explores the real-life case of the extraordinary rendition of two men, also bone-chilling. Completing the set is a series of deleted scenes that fill space well but offer nothing more. Uncompromising, educative and raw, you can’t go wrong with this one. (Alliance Atlantis)