The movie has received a number of very good reviews. One of them, on DVD Town, prompted me to comment and I offer that comment below:
This is one of those movies I feel garners praise less for its merits as a film than for its subject matter. It's certainy a story that should be told but geez ... it's really boring. Especially, as you mention, that first hour.
But you also articulate why this is a dull movie: "To some viewers, "Syriana" may seem to have too many characters, none of whom we get to know very well. But I don't think the characters are supposed to matter much in the film."
That's exactly why it's dull. The main character in the film is oil. What kind of emotional connection do you make with that?
I don't have problems with ensemble pieces - some of my favourite movies are of this type. But the absence of a character focus really makes watching this film feel like sitting through a dull lecture.
As admirable as the intentions were, the execution left a great deal to be desired, for me.
Tags: Movies, DVD, Syriana