Berlin Film Review: ‘Profile’

Say what you will about genre-hopping Kazakh export Timur Bekmambetov: His career keeps you guessing, even when his films don’t.

Rarely has a director’s filmography threaded two films as improbably consecutive as 2016’s misguided “Ben-Hur” remake and now “Profile,” a fast, lurid online-terror thriller that you’d describe as a curio if its helmer weren’t hell-bent on making the all-in-one-computer-screen movie a veritable subgenre.Unlike the Bekmambetov-produced tension exercises “Unfriended” and “Search,” however, “Profile” aims for ripped-from-the-headlines social import, as it follows an intrepid but increasingly ill-advised London journalist in her quest to bait and expose an Isis recruiter through Skype and social media.

Loosely drawn from the experiences of French reporter Anna Erelle, this is an undeniably engrossing but almost entirely specious affair: Any factual grounding gives way beneath the film as it devolves into shrill heart-versus-head melodrama.After the rather raggedly synthetic-looking “Ben-Hur” failed to fill the big screen with spectacle

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