Able Danger

2008, Movie, NR, 0 mins

Review

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Paul Krik's stylish, darkly comic conspiracy thriller takes its title from a classified military program alleged to have identified four 9/11 hijackers prior to the terrorist attacks, and borrows its gleaming B&W look from THE MALTESE FALCON.

Thomas Flynn (Aaron Nee) manages Vox Pop, a funky Brooklyn coffee shop/community center, but lives to tease out the dark truths about 9/11 the US government has systematically hidden in order to further the aggressive agenda of the conservative Project for the New American Century. The author of The Big Wedding: 9/11, the Whistle-blowers, and the Cover-up (an actual 2005 anthology of essays co-edited and published by Sander Hicks, who owns the real-life Vox Pop), Flynn was tailor-made to play poor sap to the mysterious Kasia (Elina Lowensohn), a femme fatale with lethal legs, a sexily sinister accent and an encrypted disk containing the scoop of his dreams. The hijackers weren't Muslin martyrs, she purrs conspiratorially: She used to party with Mohammed Atta and knows for a fact that he was a tool of American warmongers who now want her dead, which makes her the kind of loose end t hat can't be left dangling. Flynn takes the bait and within hours his life is a shambles; Kasia vanishes, his best friend is murdered and he's suddenly on the run from spies, cops and covert killers.

Writer-producer-editor-director Krik (his director's credit reads "Dave Herman," apparently out of concern that weaving too much inconvenient truth in with the genre fiction might attract the wrath the shadow conspirators), might have done better to deliver less retro larkiness and more straight facts. The film is gorgeously photographed, briskly paced and strikingly handsome despite an indie-sized budget. But noir parody isn't exactly a mainstream commercial draw and it undermines the serious and well-researched allegations Krik clearly wanted to bring to an audience beyond 9/11 conspiracy "truthers" -- it is possible to be too clever for your own good. leave a comment --Ken Fox

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