In Able Danger, Brooklyn barista Thomas Flynn (Adam Nee) gets mixed up with an Eastern European honey, Kasia (Elina Löwensohn), who claims to have ties to Mohamed Atta and knowledge of the 2.5 terabytes of data presumably destroyed in March 2001 by Able Danger, the real-life secret government program that presumably identified the 9/11 hijackers. This is deep shit, and Thomas finds himself knee-deep in it after he’s implicated in his roomie’s murder. Director Dave Herman would prefer if we all compared his feature-length debut to the practically minimalist The Parallax View, but Able Danger is really a hipster version of Soderbergh’s inane The Good German—all talk and effusive style. Like Soberbergh, Herman passes his narrative through a noir prism, but because the action here takes place in the present and only Löwensohn performs as if she’s been transplanted from The Maltese Falcon, Herman’s chiaroscuro style remains dubious, a feeling impacted whenever the film picks up transmission (which is often) from the Terminator’s visor as Thomas walks or rides his bike outdoors and is perpetually spied on by unseen government agents. Thomas’s conspiracy theories aren’t tasteless if you know anything about Able Danger, and neither is Thomas’s nightmares about being trapped on the roof of the World Trade Center, which bespeak not only to his proximity to Ground Zero but to his obsession with how the towers fell, but in spite of a few disquietingly hallucinogenic images, Herman’s style never feels keyed to the post-traumatic stress of the 9/11 witness. All it accomplishes is dressing up video that might have looked even cruddier had it simply been presented in color.
- 86 min
- Dave Herman
- Paul Krik
- Elina Löwensohn, Adam Nee, Michael J. Burg, David Coburn, Tamarra Knausz, Greg Martin, Frank Deal, Jamie Ward
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