Writer: Lorraine TanWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects:
NACinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Running On Empty” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
Based on a novel by Neil Gordon, "The Company You Keep" is a dramatic thriller about a group of radicals in the 1960s, "Weather Underground Organisation", which in turn, was inspired by the lyrics from a Bob Dylan song - "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." Commonly known as "Weathermen", this hippy group commits violent acts in an attempt to overthrow the US government in reaction to the Vietnam war.
Director Robert Redford plays an ex-weatherman, Jim Grant, a man wanted for the robbery of a Michigan bank and the murder of the bank's security officer. Jim Grant changed his identity and lived as an Albany lawyer to hide from FBI. His cover was later busted by an aggressive reporter (Shia LaBeouf) when another Weather Underground member (Susan Sarandon) is caught.
The legendary Redford, who has directed and acted in numerous flicks like "Spy Game", "Lions For Lambs", and the soon-to-be-released "Captain America: The Winter Soldier". Hitting the age of 76 this year, we see the popular movie star in the late 1960s to 1980s, in superb physical form as he runs (or half-jogs) as the manhunt begins. An amazing man with great charisma, Redford has not lost any of his charm as he actualized the intriguing role of Jim Grant.
"Transformers" actor Labeouf plays Ben Shepard, a pugnacious and ruthless reporter who sees the potential for a news headline, is determined to discover the truth behind the rest of the remaining Weather Underground members and earn his big break. He has no idea what he is getting himself into as he digs deeper and uncovers things from the past which the FBI spent more than thirty years track down. Labeouf nailed the character, showing a substantial growth in his acting skills, which fans of Labeouf definitely would notice.
Fronted by several Academy Awards winners and nominees like Susan Sarandon, Chris Cooper and Anna Kendrick, just to name a few, one cannot blame the audience for having high expectations, especially after watching the heavily publicized trailer in the Singapore theatres ever since late 2012. In addition, the setting of Vancouver during autumn brings a moody and melancholic mood to the film.
Much to the disappointment of the audience, the plot came across as draggy and long-winded, which might be due to the long dialogues from the characters. A downer for fans of the novel, the long-awaited reveal failed to deliver. It left quite a fair bit of details out and the story did not end off with a "wow" factor, as most suspense-thriller films would have. It does have an interesting story plot but as most novel-turned-movie flicks, it fails to live up to expectations; which makes you wonder, 'How can material this good be so boring?'.Cinema Online, 07 May 2013