Man…I gotta tell ya…I’m a HUGE John Cusack fan. Being a kid from the 80’s, Cusack OWNED the 80’s for me…well….except for maybe Tom Cruise. But either way, he also stars in my favorite film of all-time, “Grosse Pointe Blank.” In GPB, Mr. Cusack plays an assassin for hire but managed to play it with a sense of humor. In THIS thriller, Cusack is once again a killer, but this guy has NO sense of humor and is assigned to watch over the very attractive Malin Akerman, who holds her own in this mostly 2 people drama.
Emerson (Cusack) is a field agent who is sent to “find people.” On one assignment, he and his boss end up killing a young girl, sending Emerson’s conscience into a tizzy. He is then relocated to England where he is sent to protect a codebreaker. A codebreaker is essentially an “in-the-dark” hire who is good at cracking code and who is in charge of sending the code over radio waves to agents who are awaiting their next assignment. In this case, that codebreaker is Katherine (Akerman), a beautiful blonde who is in it for her country, despite the fact that she has no idea what she is really doing in her occupation. The story really kicks into gear when a team of assassins show up and try to kill both of them and attempt to send out a code that would kill 15 hire-ups in the Agency. Will Emerson have what it takes to get them both out of there alive? It’s a game of cat & mouse in this thriller that is neither filling or satisfying.
Despite a decent attempt, “The Numbers Station” is little more than a vehicle for Cusack to show his brooding side and reenact a much darker version of his character from Grosse Pointe Blank. Not that this is a bad thing. Actually, Cusack is very good here. But there’s just not a lot to go with. Akerman is great in her role and everyone involved in this movie does a decent job, including the director, Kasper Barfoed. But there’s just not a lot to work with. It’s a relatively short movie (clocking in at under an hour and a half) and that is a good thing because you can sense it would have run out of steam had it been any longer.
Overall, like I said, this is not the worst movie you could rent on a weekend night. RedBox it for $1.25 and relax and enjoy. It’s not over-the-top, there’s some decent action and you’ll get to bed before 11:30. And for me…that’s a good night on the couch!
Overall Rating: C