Turkish T.V. director Sadullah Şentürk ("Kurtlar Vadisi") goes solo to wring a few more lira out of the burgeoning media franchise created by Osman Sınav with this cheap and cheerless action thriller, which succeeded in its aims of getting maximum return from minimum outlay by becoming the fifth highest grossing Turkish film of 2009 despite highly critical reviews.
When former intelligence agent İskender Büyük (Musa Uzunlar) finds himself in court charged with plotting a coup he calls upon attorney Ayşe (Ayfer Dönmez) to help him escape and track down the second man in the deep state organisation Gladio, who have been responsible for everything from the PKK terror campaign of Abdullah Öcalan to the assassination of President Turgut Özal.
Musa Uzunlar ("Kurtlar Vadisi Pusu") chews his way through the courtroom scenery, in a style which at times threatens to tear down the entire production around him, as the overblown all-action anti-hero, whilst a winsome Ayfer Dönmez looks on seemingly bewildered as his inexperienced court-appointed attorney turned spunky side-kick.
Tuğrul Çetiner provides a menacing presence as the controller Bülent Fuat Aras, replete with shaved head and stereotypical Gastapo-style lip, at the head of a supporting cast which includes nice turns from Mustafa Develi as Abdullah Öcalan, Sezai Aydın and Işıl Ertuna as Turgut and Semra Özal and the understated Sinan Pekinton as the judge.
The ever manipulative director once again plays to the strengths of the franchise by using current events, in this case the ongoing Ergenekon investigation, to draw audiences in to a crass little auctioneer crafted in the style of Bush-era Fox TV series "24" replete with all the prerequisite mock-heroics, and chest-thumping nationalism, only done cheaper.
"Well, I believed the state. You shouldn't"
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