“A Most Wanted Man”

Jake Tapley

a most wanted man

“A Most Wanted Man” is a movie you probably haven’t heard a lot about.

It didn’t get a lot of promotion outside of in-theater previews and was substantially overshadowed by box office hits like “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Lucy.”

To top it off, there is really nothing earth shattering about it.

Coming in at a run time of just over two hours, the film follows a German espionage agent, played by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, as he tracks down a Chechen immigrant with an affiliation to a Muslim political figure that he believes might have connections to a terrorist organization.

Though labeled as a thriller, the movie’s suspense exists primarily in the set-up of immigrant Issa Karpov and public speaker Abdullah. Much of the movie is simply building to the end pay-off.

But, I think it pays off.

In its defense, the film doesn’t rely on action sequences, an outlandish budget or an off-the-wall premise to garner its status as a thriller. In this regard, the plot and screenplay are commendable.

Most commendable, though, is Hoffman’s performance.

I have always felt that he was one of the best in the business, and this movie speaks to his talents on the big screen – a talent that has since been misplaced.

For the role of Günther Bachmann in “A Most Wanted Man,” Hoffman immersed himself into a character. A man. A German espionage agent.

But, more than that, he immersed himself into an idea: in Bachmann’s words, “to make the world a safer place.”

This is what I love about cinema, because I believe in this character. I believe in Günther Bachmann, what he stands for, what he feels for and what he yearns for.

I sympathize with this man.

With “A Most Wanted Man,” Hoffman has proved once again that just because a character is fictional doesn’t mean he isn’t real.