"The Numbers Station" (2013 release; 90 min.) brings the story of Emerson (played by John Cusack), a CIA operative in the field. As the movie opens, we see Emerson involved in an assassination of several targets but it all goes horribly wrong when the daughter of one of the targets comes onto the scene. Unable to "retire" her, Emerson's boss Gray (played by Liam Cunningham) does so instead, but he promptly demotes Emerson away from the field. Next we see that Emerson has been assigned to guard the broadcaster, a woman named Katherine (played by Malin ┼kerman), of a "numbers station" in the country side near Suffolk, England. As the movie explains, a numbers station broadcasts (in short wave) secret messages in numbers to agents in the field, giving them new assignments. Not long after, the numbers station is attacked and infiltrated, and all kinds of trouble and mayham ensues. Why is the numbers station being attacked? Will Emerson and Katherine make it out alive? Is there double-play at hand anywhere? To tell you more of this plot-heavy movie would surely ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Several comments: first and foremost, John Cusack! Yes, Cusack is front and center in this movie, he is in fact in every scene and in virually every shot. Aging gracefully, yet maintaining that boyish face, Cusack carries the movie from start to finish, and for me he is reason enough to watch and enjoy this movie. But wait! there is more! Malin ┼kerman as the person Cusack needs to protect is equally delightful, oozing charm (and, let's be honest, looks as well). She is playing the role of Debbie Harry in the upcoming movie "CBGB" later this year, can't wait for that. When I saw the end credits role of this movie, I couldn't help but notice it had tons of international co-production assists (including VFX from Belgium, where I grew up).
Imagine my surprise when "The Numbers Station" showed up this weekend out of nowhere and without any pre-release buzz or ads on a single screen for all of Greater Cincinnati. So I decided to go see it right away, as I figure this won't stick around long. As it turned out, I got a private screening of it. Yes indeed, I was the only person in the theatre! Weird. That aside, "The Numbers Station" is a pleasant thriller that is worth it mostly for the solid performances of John Cusack and Malin ┼kerman.