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The film opens five years earlier than the present, showing the Fourth of July celebration at the American consulate in Dubai, where Ray Koval (Clive Owen), an MI6 agent, appears to seduce Claire Stenwick (Julia Roberts), unknowingly to him a CIA agent. Claire manages to drug Ray and steals classified documents from him.
The scene cuts to Howard Tully (Tom Wilkinson), the CEO of Burkett & Randle, and Dick Garsik (Paul Giamatti), the CEO of Equikrom, illustrating the rivalry between the two consumer product corporations when they get into a brawl upon encountering each other on thetarmac.
In the present day, Ray is a corporate spy in New York City who goes to work for Equikrom; at a meet, he spots Claire, thinking the mission is blown. When Ray follows her and confronts her finally for the incident in Dubai, Claire persistently puts up an innocent act, pretending she has never met Ray, until they both realize they were supposed to meet. Claire has been undercover as a counter-intelligence officer at Burkett & Randle for the past 14 months, and Ray is to become her new handler.
At Burkett & ...