Friday, April 5, 2013

Intriguing Cast of Characters in 'The Company You Keep'

IT has a marquee name director-producer and a high-voltage cast.

These are the two most interesting aspects of “The Company You Keep.” The film opens today in New York and Los Angeles before rolling out elsewhere. It had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.

Robert Redford is not only one of the producers and the director, he is the star among stars of the film. When was the last time RR had a major role as a director or actor? Long time ago. Also onboard in “The Company You Keep” are Julie Christie, Chris Cooper, Sam Elliott, Terrence Howard, Richard Jenkins, Nick Nolte, Susan Sarandon and Stanley Tucci.

That’s a lot of starpower for this little thriller based on Neil Gordon’s book of the same name. The plot centers around a former Vietnam-era radical Nick Sloan (RR) who went underground after he was accused of some lawbreaking he may or may not have participated in. He’s guilty of something, but not the crime that the FBI wants to put him away for. Smart guy that he is, Nick remakes himself as Jim Grant. (See video above).

Jim had been living a good, quiet life until overly ambitious and ethics-challenged reporter Ben Shepard (Shia LaBeouf) outs him. Now Nick/Jim is on the run from the FBI while he searches for a former flame, Mimi (JC), who can clear his name.

During the chase and search, many characters in the guise of the aforementioned names figure in the mix. So often, films with too much star power turn out to be a big mess. No so for “The Company You Keep,” but it is not a great film either. It is a middling affair that is made all the more bearable because one can gawk at the stars, even if only in a cameo role.

“The Company You Keep” is rated R. Visit to learn more about the film. Rx

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