Dir: Miguel Courtois, 2004, Spain (124 min)
Eduardo Noriega, Patrick Bruel, Mélaine Doutey
Based on real events, this political thriller depicts the agent, code-named Lobo (‘Wolf’), who infiltrated Basque-separatists ETA in the mid-1970s leading to over 150 arrests.
Starting out as a simple man with a conscience, we follow Wolf as he becomes a conflicted mole, who hooks up along the way with an attractive female activist who has a predilection for keeping her balaclava on in the bedroom. Quickly ascending the organisation’s upper echelons, Wolf finds them to be squabbling fanatics, who are busy bumping each other off over differing interpretations of revolution. But the secret service who recruit him are little better, acting as manipulative puppet-masters enslaved by personal ambition and the political machinations of their superiors.
Wolf’s journey was no doubt an extraordinary one, but this straightforward rendition lacks tension, with not enough shadows to define the intrigue, and insufficient appeal to rise beyond blandness. Kate Taylor