‘The Numbers Station’ is goddamned awful
I don’t set out to find the worst possible films ever made. I promise I don’t. I just queue them up on Netflix and let the results fall where they may. The Numbers Station makes about as much sense as Raëlism, and it’s even less captivating than getting a hand job from a 25-stone man while trying not to set off the land mine he’s stuck up your butt.
I couldn’t think of a more bland or tedious actor than John Cusack. In every single scene, it appeared that he was bored out of his mind. Saying that he ‘mailed in’ his performance is letting him off a little light; just like saying jazz is ‘only’ pretentious, narcissistic shit, Cusack’s performance reeks of a quick cash in. That’s only the most obvious facet of wrongness present in The Numbers Station. Perhaps if the lead character was played by someone with more charisma -say, Marky Mark or Matt Damon- the film might have turned out to be something other than an insipid snoozefest.
The film kicks off with Cusack shooting some people with a silenced handgun, then getting pistol whipped by Davos Seaworth and a longingly-romantic gaze with one of his victim’s daughters. This all consumes about five minutes: that’s all the fucking backstory there is. We’re simply supposed to assume Cusack’s character is this elite black-ops agent when in reality he seems more lame than Tahiti’s 30-0 drubbing of the Cook Islands in September 1971.
I have two dreams. One is to become the best male stripper/high-priced escort in Nuuk, and the other is to see Malin Åkerman in something good. I feel like everything since The Bang Bang Club and/or Watchmen has been complete donkey jizz…and it’s not really her fault. I blame her agent, who clearly has about as much business sense as a back-alley dumpster baby. She has the ability to be a big-budget heroine, but for some odd reason she continually gets cast in roles with as much complexity as a NuvaRing. I mean fuck.
The Numbers Station‘s premise is standard thriller schlock. This so-called ‘numbers station’ sends out coded messages to field agents using disposable cyphers. The station gets attacked by an anonymous force consisting of a grand total of three bad guys, and sometime during this, messages were sent out detailing the hits of fifteen senior CIA members. Then, in what could possibly be the most exciting plot development since Harold and Kumar got high in Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, it’s up to Cusack and Malin to send out amended messages to save the fifteen agents.
The entire film takes place at some abandoned military compound in the UK. It’s as claustrophobic as a transsexual Thai man’s asshole on Tuesdays, and while this stylistic choice was taken deliberately, it really results in a detriment to the film’s quality. By widening up the scope of the picture, director Kasper Barfoed could have come up with something more Bourne-esque. But as it stands, The Numbers Station is dull, sparse, and less appealing than watching this video.
If you like C-grade ‘thrillers,’ watching the two lead actors have as much chemistry as this girl, and having the piss bored out of you, I’m sure you’ll have a good time with The Numbers Station. If you enjoy fun things, like brain surgery, homemade chocolate chip cookies, or masturbating into a petri dish just to see what grows, then aim your sights just a little bit higher.
Conclusion: Just no. 1.0/5.0