Actor Stuart Townsend re-enacts the tumult around a planned 1999 World Trade Organization (WTO) summit meeting with a degree of verisimilitude in Battle in Seattle.
The neophyte helmer has a way with the increasingly discordant action on the streets that kept the event from happening, using it as a backdrop for a fictional story that features his off-screen love, Charlize Theron.
Theron, in limited screen time, plays a pregnant woman victimized in the action who happens to be the wife of a troubled Seattle cop, a very convincing Woody Harrelson (Transsiberian). Martin Henderson (The Ring) occupies much screen time as a ranting activist leader who becomes involved with another protester, Lou (Michelle Rodriquez of TV's "Lost").
As a television journalist, Connie Nielsen seems more like a plot device to help manufacture episodic drama as her character joins the demonstration. Another catalyst is an attorney (Jennifer Carpenter of The Exorcism of Emily Rose) who pressures the harried, ineffective mayor (Ray Liotta) who's already retained the National Guard into freeing hundreds of protesters.
Battle In Seattle is an unconvincing docudrama with some harsh, yet expository passages that allows for credence on behalf of those crestfallen at the behest of the WTO. It does seem that those atop many multinational conglomerates know how to maximum profitability in bailout situations (think Stock Market).
So, Townsend with his cast and crew behind him help to make their points at the expense of story and character, even as the director shows promise when it comes to depicting the nasty restlessness with interspersed archival footage like the seminal late 60s picture Medium Cool.
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