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Review Cleanskin (2012): Decent!

genre: drama, thriller, action

Cleanskin is an entertaining movie. But it is far from a compelling drama or action thriller as it is made out to be. Sean Bean and Abhin Galeya are the reasons it remains interesting even when the plot doesn't reveal all that much about their characters and motivations.

That could be said about the whole movie. We never get down to the bottom of things. It's there on the surface but never explained. Abhin Galeya who plays Ash is intelligent and crosses paths with this funny Imam. Somehow his words seem to have some influence on Ash. How and why that is never becomes clear. It is something we have to assume and accept. Same goes for Ash's transformation. Ash never is shown as someone who is really convinced or without doubt about what he is doing. In some cases he even seems reluctant yet follows through. That his behaviour is inconsistent with what he has been thought to be pure and to reach paradise is also something that the viewer has to overlook. Which does make the ending speech/confession on tape he made a little strange. It really would have been welcome to see some depth concerning the reasons and motivations for these young guys to become terrorists. Since that is the one question that people are asking and want to know. What makes one so motivated to blow themselves up and killing innocent people? Cleanskin does not give the answer. 

Sean Bean delivers as always but has not much to do. He keeps on fighting the good fight. Action aficionados will be disappointed since there are only a few action scenes. The ones that are present are decent but nothing that exhilarating or exciting except maybe the one where a brilliant headshot is made and the fight in the kitchen. 

Cleanskin has the appearance of a deep intellectual political action thriller on the surface. Deep down it's a generic story about terrorists and Sean Bean trying to stop them. Decent.

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