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The Constant Gardener , Focus Features' new thriller, plays like the grim, dour counterpart to this year's earlier globetrotting adventure film, Sahara . Both films pit socially conscious heroes against rapacious corporations exploiting Africa's poor.
But while Sahara offered jocular summer escapism, Gardener is self-serious, solemn and intricate. Yet it suffers from an identity crisis—it is both a gripping, gritty thriller and a didactic, anti-corporate tract for government intervention and contrarian liberal activism.
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