How to make the most of the small budget is a question that the makers of The Numbers Station know the answer to. Starring John Cusack and Malin Akerman, this movie is nice thriller that I am sure will be played on your local TV station pretty soon. Cusack decided to shift from romantic movies of the eighties and nineties to a more action and even horror oriented ones, trying out his “I’m dark and mysterious look”. He pulled it off, but just barely, while Akerman was quite convincing as the nerdy analyst. As I said in the opening sentence due to the budget restrictions the movie is cleverly situated mostly in an underground complex, although there are few scenes that help us to get to know the characters better, especially Mr. Emerson Kent (Cusack). This combined with a steady tempo and increasingly interesting story should keep you occupied (I’ll just throw in Akerman there if this doesn’t work for you…)

The Numbers Station PosterEmerson Kent is a CIA agent, with a pretty difficult missions that include assassinations, and not your classical bad-guy assassinations but no witnesses left behind assassinations (wow that’s a lot of assassinations…). Burdened with this, he decides to transfer to a more peaceful and boring posting in England, guarding the numbers station. The numbers station is a station that sends encoded messages via short-wave radio, and is usually used by the spies to covertly send orders to operatives across the world. One wonders what would happen if someone broke in, and sent their own instructions… One ordinary day Emerson picks up his asset, Katherine who sends the messages while he watches over her, and two of them upon arriving at the station discover that something might have happened, something very bad…

In this day and age, where we realize the power of information and misinformation, this movie is a nice reminder of just how easy would be to cause chaos and mayhem. It also shows us that usually jobs that we think of as very exciting are actually painstakingly boring and dull with some moments of sheer terror and life-threatening situations. To deal with all this an operative must be a very disciplined and committed individual, and Cusack has given us insight into that, or at least the toll it takes…

Director: Kasper Barfoed

Writer:  F. Scott Frazier

Cast: John Cusack, Malin Akerman, Liam Cunningham, Richard Brake, Bryan Dick, Hannah Murray

Fun Facts: Ethan Hawke was originally cast but he dropped out and was replaced by John Cusack.


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