Here’s what Syriana did not do for me:
- It did not make me think more about resources in the Middle East.
- It did not make me think more about Western players in the Middle East.
I say this only because I guess Syriana was often touted as provoking such lines of thought, but it never managed such a thing. I enjoyed Syriana as a film, though it was rather passive, even meek, throughout. Here is an example of watching a film for the sake of watching a film. I didn’t really get anything out of it, and it was perfectly fine. It doesn’t have a whole lot of issues. I liked George Clooney
and Matt Damon
in it. There were few surprises, and the most I thought about the film after the credits was ten minutes spent considering the ending, attempting to figure out what happened.
The thing I most enjoyed, if anything, was the film’s soundtrack. It is neatly subterranean, and it perfectly suits the images. Unfortunately, the official release of the soundtrack is underwhelming. The music is best enjoyed solely in tandem with the film, then.
As aforementioned, Matt Damon performs very nicely here. He’s a capable actor; in Syriana he does surprisingly well.
Would I recommend Syriana? It’s not a must-watch, and there isn’t as much George Clooney within as trailers suggest (he doesn’t dominate the film). It tries to be interesting and tricky and thought-provoking. It neither fails nor succeeds -- it just lies there, somewhat lamely. Watch it if you like films in the Middle East or films containing George Clooney or Matt Damon. Watch it if it crosses your path when you’re desperately looking for something to sit in front of for a hundred minutes. Syriana is good, but it’s not amazing.