I did not get to join a group outing to see Syriana this weekend, but did get to see it while on a date with my wife on Saturday. I have to say that I was a tad bit disappointed.

The first criticism that I have is the pace with which the movie moves and the lack of deep character development. This was probably out of necessity as the movie is still over 2 hours even after such whittling. We both sat there feeling lost the majority of the time early on. This may have been by design, but it made watching the first 3/4 of the movie a bit uncomfortable.

The movie tells parallel tales of a CIA operative, a young Pakistani, an energy trader, and a corporate lawyer as they navigate the complexities of the Middle East oil trade. There is considerable tragedy for all in a tale that will leave you questioning the news in new ways. If you are somewhat familiar with Middle East issues, the oil trade, and politics, you should not have much trouble distilling the fast moving plot into something meaningful. If you are going to learn about such things, this movie might be one you will need to see a second time.

I was hoping the movie would be more explosive in both plot and message, but it is still worth seeing. You’ll leave asking many questions…all of which are good ones to have on your mind.

View the Trailer

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