Resistance ★½

It might sound like a backhanded compliment to say that Jesse Eisenberg’s antic performance as French mime Marcel Marceau is the best thing about Jonathan Jakubowicz’s “Resistance,” but it’s not. Well, it’s not a backhanded compliment to Eisenberg, anyway. The giddy standout of a bizarre and half-baked Holocaust thriller that’s otherwise absent any clear sense of self, the star of “The Social Network” is an inspired — if also logical — choice to play another Jewish icon who changed the world from behind the flat screen of their own neuroses. And for the better, in this case.

If only this film made any real use of history’s famous mime. Few people know that Marceau helped thousands of orphaned children escape the Nazis before he ever painted his face white, but Jakubowicz only uses that incredible factoid as the hook for a shoddy and generic war saga about the Jewish Resistance in France (Organisation Juive de Combat, or OJC); Marceau plays such an uncertain part in the movie around him that it’s easy to forget what he’s doing there in the first place. Too broad to work as a biopic, but also tethered to its iconic protagonist in a way that squeezes the entire movie into his shadow, “Resistance” is lost in the muddy water somewhere between a superhero origin story and a heroic portrait of artistic survival.

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