Tuesday, 8 May 2012

31 North 62 East

None of the films in this catch up in the first week of May 2012 will make it to anyone’s list of top of whatever category and time period chosen. The one which had potential and engaged my attention most admittedly stretched credulity and had some dodgy acting. The reason for my interest being the role of the personal adviser to the Prime Minister. The Adviser of the Culture Secretary please takes note.

31 North 62 east is the location of a British S.A.S unit which the British Prime Minister agreed should be murdered by the agents of the ambassador of a friendly power holder in Afghanistan who was offering an 80 billion arms deal. Unfortunately before the arms deal is signed an American Navy Seals unit takes out a position which involves civilian casualties including a close relative of the potentate. He demands the unit is sacrificed but before their location can be given they have returned to their USS naval vessel. The British SAS unit is in the area and is sacrificed so the deal can proceed with the Ambassador arranging for the location information given to the local fundamentalist terrorists/freedom fighters.

All would have gone to plan except that the commander of the unit is not killed and is taken prisoner. Apart from the role of the personal adviser the other interesting aspect of this film is not the treachery of the British Prime Minister but that the Commander is female and that several of the principal characters are also female.

She is held in captivity and repeatedly tortured to confess her guilt in the raid which led to death of relative of the potentate. Eventually the group believe the woman and her team were not involved and the information is relayed to the Potentate’s personal ambassador who tells the rebel to immediately kill the girl and keep stumm and he relays the info to the British PM who admits any leak will ruin his reselection chances while the ambassador knows his life will be quickly terminated for messing up and failing to take revenge on the perpetrators of the crime.

This is where the plot becomes more complex. The girl has a sister who was also in the army but in intelligence and with connections with the French, including a senior operative who is female and who in turn has a double agent  located in Beirut who is also a woman and who is respected by freedom fighting terrorists groups such as the one holding the British Commander.

She is able to visit the camp and confirm that the girl is alive and trade for her life with a substantial quantity of arms and ammunition. This is a bluff to enable an Italian team to take out the rebels and rescue the girl who returns to the UK allegedly having lost her memory and is suffering traumatic stress and placed in a psychiatric hospital before being discharged from the service as unfit for further duty. When is released home the ambassador with the knowledge of the British PM has paid  a female professional assassin half a million to ensure  the former officer dies in a suicide accident and soon this appears to be the position.

The sister finds out that something was rotten after the discovery at the camp of an email on the hard drive of a computer which gave the group the location of the S.A.S unit and sent to them by the Ambassador. They are able to connect the sending of the info to 15 minutes after the ambassador had met the British PM in a country Hotel. Proving the connection appears to be impossible and this where the plot becomes even more elaborate.

The sister is able to build a powerful computer system which hacks into that of the British Security services and from this learns the home location of the personal adviser/spin doctor for the PM who is also a woman and who is then kidnapped involving the use of a light plane and a commando style assault of one person, or so it appears. The woman is then infected with a snake poison which takes 40 hours to have full effect unless she reveals all when a serum is at hand. The interrogation of the prisoner is relayed to a 24/7 news platform which is then taken up world wide. The government cannot shut down the Internet system in the UK without arousing the political and media suspicion that they have something to hide. The impression is given this is a terrorist plot. The Prime Minister orders the security services to find the location of the transmission and take both women out after realising that his adviser has also become a threat.

The process of the interrogation and locating the transmission is stretched out to build up tension which is one of several aspects of the film which does not work. The sister is able to communicate direct with the intelligence service HQ and goads them when the crack unit sent find that the transmission centre is a proxy relay unit. However it does not take long for the crack special forces unit to find the location and appear to have killed the two women who are reported to have been killed in the attempt to release them, but only after the PM’s adviser has spilled the beans on International TV.  The PM holds a media conference to explain what has happened claiming that his adviser has had some kind of breakdown and was responsible for the situation (unbelievable except this is the very argument put out by the present Minister for Culture backed up by the Prime Minister that his personal adviser acted without him having any knowledge of his contact and information giving to the Murdochs. The P.M also confidently asserts that his Minister will vindicate himself at the Leveson Inquiry with the documentation also released only to the Inquiry in the first instance). The PM in the film talks of an inquiry to get to the bottom of what happened which will vindicate his actions and the cover story.

In real life that would be that.

However this where the film takes an even greater downward curve as it is revealed that the commander was not assassinated but with the help of the French intelligence and friends within British intelligence and special forces it is the assassin who dies in the car found at the bottom of a cliff. Moreover nor has the sister and the PM’s adviser died who all turn up at the press conference after he has assured the media both are dead. The PM is quickly taken away from the situation. The commander turns up at a bar to amaze her boyfriend with the quip you look as if you have seen a ghost while her sister is offered a job with French Intelligence which she takes up suggesting the ambitions of a sequel.

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