Director, Tom Tykwer filming on location in Istanbul with Clive Owen
Inspired by the collapse of The Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) during the late 80s in which a litany of fraud and corruption was exposed as a form of regular practise, Eric Singer’s screenplay draws upon such a grim financial reality to offer his own critique on the unaccountable nature of banks today and how they are uniquely autonomous in their exploitation of armed conflict around the world. Though Tkywer knows how to shoot architecture, positioning Salinger in an underwhelmingly powerless relationship with the banking corporation and their vast eddifices of invincibility (The International Bank of Business and Credit), it is the characters that suffer from a case of narrative predictablity and generic inertia. I’m sure the Guggenheim sequence will be much celebrated and feature regularly in an obscure top ten of recent memorable action sequences, but for me the most telling moment comes when Salinger meets Umberto Calvini, the head of a powerful weapons manufacturer, who informs him very cautiously that the entire system of banking is built on control, the control of debt and our enslavement to it. This seems to be the crux of the film’s underlining ideological argument and it is chillingly reiterated through the end credits in which Salinger's active attempt to take on the banking corporation for their untouchable status is ridiculed as an exercise in futility.