Watched Aug 06, 2012
Michael Mackenzie’s review:
This film has a curious genesis - based on an Israeli film (which I unfortunately haven't seen, so can't compare it to), adapted by Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn of KICK-ASS fame, along with Peter Straughan, one half of the duo responsible for last year's adaptation of TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY. The latter's style is far more apparent than that of Goldman and Vaughn, with the multiple timelines and Cold War setting. By far the most impressive parts of the film are the scenes set in 60s East Berlin as Jessica Chastain, Marton Csokas and Sam Worthington's Mossad agents plan and execute the kidnapping of the "Surgeon of Birkenau". Chastain is wonderful with her wide, expressive eyes and perpetually clenched jaw, reminding me at times of a young Laura Fraser. It's very much her film despite the title billing given to Helen Mirren who, as an older incarnation of Chastain's character in the late 90s, gets considerably weaker material to work with. The 60s stuff is so good that I really wish they had simply told that story instead of feeling the need to bookend it with the less engaging and increasingly far-fetched events that take place decades later.
It's very much in the shadow of the similar but more thematically complex MUNICH but, there's at least two thirds of a solid thriller in here, so I can't claim to be too disappointed.