Kasper Barfoed

review numbers station

Two men sit in a car having a seemingly casual chat, but while Grey (Liam Cunningham) rambles on about the dollar value associated with all of the various minerals in a human body, Emerson (John Cusack) is recording numbers being spoken on the radio. He writes them down, enters a bar and kills the three people inside. They’re wet work agents tasked with cleanup duty, but when their latest hit goes awry Emerson is reassigned to an underground Numbers Station in England to babysit a civilian named Katherine (Malin Akerman), whose sole job is to transmit numerically coded messages over the shortwave radio to agents in the field. She doesn’t know exactly what’s in them, but she trusts they’re helping in the war on terror. Emerson knows otherwise, and his growing angst and existential concerns are what landed him this temporary demotion to a boring post in the middle of nowhere. The tedium doesn’t last long though, as a group of assassins have found the bunker, and they won’t stop until they accomplish their own mission. Why doesn’t John Cusack play characters who get to smile anymore?

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The Numbers Station

Everybody keeps shooting at John Cusack. To get them to stop, he and Malin Ackerman are going to have to crack a long string of numbers because, as we all know, the left side of the brain is the sexiest. In The Numbers Station, Cusack plays a dishonored black ops agent who is biding time protecting Ackerman’s character as she works at a numbers station in the middle of nowhere. She’ll be glad to have him, though, when the station comes under attack and a plan to kill some important world figures gets set in motion. This action thriller has been a long time in the making (Ethan Hawke was first attached to it back in 2010), and it represents a test for some newcomers. The first is screenwriter F. Scott Frazier, who has nailed down some work since, but who will see his first script sale finally emerge on the big screen here. The second is director Kasper Barfoed, who is not at all well known beyond his native Denmark. The trailer looks pretty damned cool. Despite the generic gloss over everything, it has the promise of a deeper mystery looming in the numbers:

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