Body of Lies

By Mark Ramsey | 2008/10/14

What happened to Russell Crowe?

When did Gladiator Maximus become Drew Careyus?

One day he’s Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North. The next he’s Paunchus Jowlus Jollyus, commander of the refrigerator to the North. And Body of Lies becomes Body of Excess Carbohydrates.

“I am father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife, lover to a bucket of fried chicken, whore to eleven secret herbs and spices,” says Crowe. “And I will have my finger-lickin’ good vengeance!”


“Playing a role is all-consuming,” said Crowe. “Particularly when all I do is consume.”

“There’s a great conflagration in the Middle East,” says Russell who looks like it took several takes to wrap his tongue around the word “conflagration” in the unlikely event it wasn’t already wrapped around a slice of Banana Cream Pie.

Leo DiCaprio is a CIA agent under cover in the Middle East. “I know how to blend in,” says Leo – except for the baseball cap and the tee reading “I was stationed in the Middle East by the CIA and all I got was this dumb t-shirt.”

For the second time in as many years, Leo is in a fiery International drama with a strong political point of view. Isn’t it time for DiCaprio to settle down into a frothy little romantic comedy with Kate Hudson? He’d eat intensity for breakfast if Russell Crowe hadn’t already finished it off.

Leo lets his facial hair handle much of his characterization. He sports the kind of pointy goatee most associated with Vegas magicians. “…but instead of pulling a rabbit out of a hat, I pull a supermodel out – then screw like a rabbit,” he adds, helpfully. “My pointy beard is a dowsing rod for poontang,” said Leo.

This is one globe-hopping movie. And believe you me, Russell could do with a little globe-hopping. But mostly, Russell watches Leo’s activities via overhead surveillance from a giant TV screen at Company HQ in Langley while Leo does all the hard work on the ground. “I’m closer to a bucket of popcorn this way,” says Russell, “and to every other bucket of popcorn within a 20-mile radius.”


Body of Lies features lots of bombings and shootings and a terrorist leader who resembles Judd Hirsch. Picture Taxi with Tony Danza as a suicide bomber. Just the kind of escapist fare worth surrendering what’s left of your hard-earned money for!

This movie is 10 percent Leo and Russell and 90 percent big black SUV’s driving around the desert. Where’s George Peppard and Mr. T when you need them? At least somebody wave a checkered flag. I was waving a white one but the projectionist kept running the movie anyway.

I lost interest in this movie somewhere between the donkey crossing the road in Jordan and the donkey crossing the road in Syria. So much travel and not one beach or casino.

Body of Lies will vanish faster than you can say “Where’s the pizza that was sitting next to Russell Crowe?”


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