Director Lasse Hallström’s Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
is a collage of a movie, devoid of real characters and crippled by awkward dialogue. Maybe it worked in its book incarnation, but in less than two hours on screen it makes no sense that a scientific fisheries researcher, Dr. Jones (Ewan McGregor), would have a spiritual awakening because he has signed onto the most asinine of projects: to help construct an exorbitantly funded artificial environment for salmon in the Yemen for Sheikh Muhammed (Amr Waked). But wait: amidst this ecological nightmare there’s also
a budding romance between Jones, whose marriage is near-collapse, and the Sheikh’s assistant, Harriet (Emily Blunt), who’s irrationally obsessed with her boyfriend of three weeks, deployed to Afghanistan---why not add nonsensical melodrama to a clusterfuck of a plot. Not even the CGI salmon are up to snuff ---the koi fish in Jones’ backyard may give the movie's best performances.