I still am unsure about The Recruit which I saw again on yesterday or the day before, the film with Al Pacino as a CIA trainer with 25 years of experience in the field, at the Training centre The Farm and at Langley HQ. He recruits the excellent Colin Farrell who I will always associate with In Bruges. We are then taken through the training programme as we have in the past with military intakes, squaddies and Officers. Those paying close attention will note that he appears set up with another Recruit, the embryonic Marta Hari - Bridget Moynahan. On one venture he is part of a group asked to get a girl to go to bed with them at a bar and he abandons his quest to help Bridget who says she has been cut from the training and is drunk as a consequence. It is revealed that her assignment is to stop him completing his task.
He then turns the tables when appointed the questioner as she undertakes a lie detector and retina test. She is pained when watching him undergo a physical and psychological interrogation which he believes is a test after he and the young woman are kidnapped an he is kept in isolation in a container like prison. He is then cut from the course for ostensibly breaking down in front of the class who are looking on through a one way system.
It is only then that the plot emerges in that he is appointed by Pacino to a low level post within Langley to spy on the young woman is said to be a sleeper agent, shown that her official background file is false. Pacino says that he lasted longer than anyone over the previous 15 years in the test and that everyone breaks so the general lesson is not to get caught.
He says the girl is taking out an official computer programme. He is to befriend and become her lover as means of fining out who she is working for.
He kills one of their associates in the underground areas of the metro system in a chase when he finds that she has passed part of the programme to him. When he confronts her she says that she was undertaking the work for Pacino to test the inability of employees to take confidential material out. She was passing to her contact who was working detached from Langley. He lets her go and contacts Pacino realising that he has been set up in some way. The idea of such tests which include braches of the law is nothing new. As far back as World War II special recruits were given tasks such as being dropped off at a point in the mainland without money or identification and told to return to base or get into and out of a secure building. After all if they were to do this in enemy territory then practice at home was essential and I suspect remains so.
We learn that Pacino has been using the young woman to take out the programme which he is selling for $3 million as an immediate pension fund although I would be surprised if over actual retirement the amount of the pension would the same or greater. He is therefore taking an unwarranted risk. The way he has set up both recruits to take the fall is clever just as the finale in which he incriminates himself falling to a bluff by Farrell who takes him up on one of his assertions that is everything is never what it first seems. Pacino dies in a hail of bullets and Farrell is taken off to be debriefed and no doubt have an ongoing relationship with the girl. Stretched the grey cells a little but a good way to wind don after a during day emotionally writing