The would-be comic lampoonery, about a time when all wars are outsourced, mirrors the realities of America’s corporate-enabled occupation of Iraq. John Cusack plays Hauser, a disaffected hit man sent by a former U.S. Vice President-turned-corporate-shill (played by Dan Aykroyd) to the fictional country of Turaqistan to assassinate an oil magnate known as Omar Sharif. Hauser’s cover as the organizer of a U.S. trade show that features state-of-the-art prosthetics, is just enough of a distraction from his actual purpose to seduce a lefty journalist named Natalie Hegalhuzen (Marisa Tomei). Hilary Duff injects the movie with a spunky pitch as Middle East pop star Yonica Babyyeah, who develops a crush on Hauser in spite of her pending wedding to her bodyguard. There are some inspired touches of humor, as when Hauser knocks back shots of straight hot sauce before springing into action, or when he shoves a former boss into a garbage truck, but the comedy never gels.
Rated R. 107 mins. (C+) (Two Stars)
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