Battle In Seattle


Woody Harrelson and Charlize Theron star in this meaty drama Discuss this article

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Certain to irk globalisation adherents and adversaries alike, to say nothing of moviegoers impatient with multinarrative babble à la Babel, Battle In Seattle takes a worthy subject –the 1999 Emerald City World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting successfully stalled by protests – and wraps it in a sudsy fictional framework. The intent may be to provide distance between topic and teller, but the result is more wishy-washy than neutrally clarifying.

The plot bounces between a group of protesters, led by a brooding hunk (Martin Henderson) and his surly apostle (the grating Michelle Rodriguez); a well-meaning cop and his preggers wife (Woody Harrelson and Charlize Theron, a match made in Hollywood do-gooder heaven); and, in the movie’s most interesting but least developed bit, a physician (Rade Serbedzija) presenting at the disrupted conference. Ray Liotta also turns up as a ballistic make-believe Seattle mayor.

First-time screenwriter-director Stuart Townsend has a feel for rancour-raising action, and isn’t half bad at weaving together Battle’s intersecting threads. But the story’s melodramatic coincidences and dogged dedication to ‘balance’ imply an uncomfortable eagerness to impose order on perceived chaos, and make inserted doc footage of the real WTO protests stand out like tear gas in a multiplex.
Mark Holcomb

By Laura Chubb
Time Out Doha,

Battle In Seattle

  • Duration: 99
  • Released: Thu, 15 Oct
  • Classification: 18+
  • Language: English
  • Website
  • Director: Stuart Townsend
  • Stars: Martin Henderson, Michelle Rodriguez, Woody Harrelson, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Carpenter, André Benjamin, Ray Liotta, Connie Nielsen, Channing Tatum, Isaach De Bankolé, Rade Serbedzija, Ivana Milicevic, Tzi Ma, Joshua Jackson, Christopher Jacot

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