Watching A Most Wanted Man, it took me a while to remind where I had recently seen the young (female) lawyer that accompanies the chechen refugee target of Günther Bachmann/Philip Seymour Hoffman said, “unconstitutional, covert government team that seeks to recruit local informants with ties to terrorist Islamic organizations”, as described by wikipedia. The Annabelle Richter lawyer character is played by Rachel MacAdams which I also recently watched in season two of True Detective. And her character in the movie is as confusing and confused as this series last season: too much and not enough in every regards.
During the first half of A Most Wanted Man, you wonder what they are trying to achieve, all of them. Then, when it looks like the lawyer is just some left-wing activist trying to help a wanted man she thinks is a genuine refugee, both monitored by the said Bachmann covert government team trying to determine if the wanted man is really a threat or can be turned into an asset, everything crumbles. God knows why, the lawyer asks the refugee/terrorist/whatever to shave his beard and change his appearance, as if it was obvious he was wanted, seriously wanted. And as if she was an accomplice of sorts. And, on the next day, the lawyer and her protégé escape surveillance with the oldest trick in the book (getting in a subway car and suddenly out at the last moment, checking if a moron follower does the same – spying lesson 101; and I won’t even comment about Bach, head of the “covert” team trying to find them back arriving by car making the engine roar and the tyres scratch). The intentions of the lawyer? No clue. She does not seems to be a terrorist but she nonetheless helps this guy that mumbles about allah, no questions asked.
From that point, there is no longer any real questions about any of these characters intents. Turns out the refugee is that, just a refugee with no intent to be involved in terrorism. Turns out the lawyer is that, just a lawyer trying to help a refugee. But nothing is strange about them trying to escape from spies. And the movie ends, despite the fact it actually goes on for one hour more.
I guess it’s a twist on the plot that actually, for Bachmann, there is no absolute wanted man, since he intends to make of each man he grabs an asset to grab a bigger fish. It makes sense but it is not that thrilling – which is annoying for a thriller. Prospects were high till provisions ran low .