Jon Hamm becomes a CIA negotiator in a new trailer for Beirut. Rosamund Pike co-stars as a CIA operative in the thriller from director Brad Anderson (The Machinist). Veteran action movie writer Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Legacy) penned the script.
Hamm plays Mason Skiles, a former U.S. diplomat who fled Lebanon in the 1970s after a tragic incident. Ten years later, Skiles returns to war-torn Beirut at the behest of the CIA to negotiate the release of a friend he left behind. Things get complicated when the hostage takers demand the release of a notorious terrorist being held by Israel. Douglas Hodge, Shea Whigham, Dean Norris, Larry Pine and Mark Pellegrino co-star.
Bleecker Street has dropped a trailer for Beirut featuring a very sweaty Jon Hamm. The period political thriller sounds echoes of Ben Affleck’s Argo and George Clooney’s Syriana, among other films. See the trailer above.
At least from the trailer, Beirut feels very much like a film George Clooney would have made fifteen years ago. Jon Hamm indeed possesses a very Clooney-esque leading man vibe in the role of Mason Skiles. The trailer right away establishes the war-torn chaos of early ’80s Beirut. Hamm the ex-diplomat is giving a lecture when an explosion suddenly rips through the walls of the building. Against this tumultuous backdrop, a drama plays out in which Hamm must negotiate with Arab terrorists to free his old friend. Rosamund Pike plays a cool CIA operative a la Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty, complete with aviator sunglasses and head scarf.
Will Beirut finally help establish Jon Hamm as a true Hollywood leading man? Hamm of course rose to fame in Mad Men, but in films he’s mostly taken supporting roles. The “perfect Jon Hamm leading role” for some reason has always eluded the actor. Rumor has it that Hamm wants to don the cowl and play Batman, just as George Clooney once did. Beirut sees Hamm following in the footsteps of Mr. Clooney in what seems like a conscious way. The film’s screenwriter Tony Gilroy even once directed a Clooney film, the acclaimed Michael Clayton. Will Beirut launch Hamm’s career on a new trajectory that ultimately takes him into the DCEU?
Unfortunately, Beirut has already come under fire from some critics. Accusations have flown that the movie trades in offensive Arab stereotypes and engages in whitewashing. We’ll see if Beirut ultimately delivers the goods or if it’s just another stale collection of political thriller tropes. If the movie doesn’t work out for Hamm, he always has that side gig as the voice of Boba Fett.
Source: Bleecker Street
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