After watching Inside Man and The International, I figured we should really ratchet up the convoluted thoughtful thriller level with Syriana. I think I have it all figured out, except why George Clooney is made up to look like Paul Krugman.
Syriana is loosely structured around the merger of an American and a Middle Eastern oil company. It tells the story of Clooney, an American undercover operative doing some shady arms dealing, Matt Damon, a development consultant to a young idealistic sheik, Jeffrey Wright, a lawyer trying to make sure the merger is clean of corruption, and a Pakistani oilworker who loses his job and becomes radicalized, plus a few more threads. These stories are allowed to develop slowly, overlap and intertwine, but only to become partly clear.
There is some action, but mostly behind the scenes skullduggery - Christopher Plummer is one of the string-pullers, like he was in Inside Man. It takes place all over the world, like The International. And when it all comes together, well, you may or may not get it all. But it will be worth it.
But why Paul Krugman?