If you ever wondered what Basher Tarr of the Ocean's movies (Clooney version) did prior to using his explosive expertise to pull off improbably complex heists, Traitor will fill in the blanks. Well, not really; the only thing they have in common is Don Cheadle, who stars in Traitor and was Basher Tarr in said Ocean's films.
Don't ask me why I felt the need to mention that, but as I left the theater, having just seen Traitor, I could not help but imagine them as the same character. It was a fleeting thought, to be sure, but it was there. I cannot explain it, as the characters are completely different, aside from the shared expertise with explosive materials. The tone of the two films and the approach needed for the two characters could not be farther apart.
Traitor is the sort of film that sneaks up on an audience. I remember some time ago first hearing about this film. It was during those pre-trailer, behind the scenes clips that some theaters run before showtime. Frankly, the first few times I saw it, I was convinced that it was going to be a television movie or mini-series. Of course that impression proved to be wrong.
Beyond that, the film seemed to have a very slow burn with regard to its advertising. I rarely saw any ads for it. Still, what I saw made me want to see it. Going a step further, finding that it was being released on Labor Day weekend did not inspire much confidence, considering how slow the weekend tends to be. Fortunately, I took the time to see it, as it is a very good film that is well executed, smartly written, and hardly the pure action film I was expecting.