If you want to learn about the incident at Entebbe, look elsewhere.
Synopsis: In July 1976, an Air France flight from Tel-Aviv to Paris via Athens was hijacked and forced to land in Entebbe, Uganda. The Jewish passengers were separated and held hostage in demand to release many terrorists held in Israeli prisons. After much debate, the Israeli government sent an elite commando unit to raid the airfield and release the hostages. (Focus Features)
Starring: Daniel Brühl, Rosamund Pike, and Eddie Marsan
Writer: Gregory Burke
Director: José Padilha
Rating: PG (Canada)/PG-13 (United States)
Running Time: 107mins
For showtimes and more, check out 7 Days In Entebbe on movietimes.com.
For those who don’t know, this film is based on the true story involving a flight with predominately Israeli passengers that was hijacked by pro-Palestinian freedom fighters, including two Germans, taking them to Entebbe, Uganda and hoping to exchange them for a group of Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli prisons. This was the event at the center of the story, taking place over 7 days, but it was never clear what or who the film was about or what point is was trying to make.
In what felt like a dramatization of a Wikipedia article, there were no real characters here and the story may or may not the most accurate. It tried hard to show every side involved such as the terrorists, the Israeli government, and a squad of Israeli soldiers. The problem with this was that it was very difficult to care about any of the film’s underdeveloped and/or one-dimensional characters and the film’s abrupt switching didn’t give us much of a chance either. All in all, this made the film a chore to watch.
All these sides may talk a lot but they’re not saying anything at all. This could have been a great time to learn more about the characters or their motivations but instead, the film would feature long stretches where nothing happened, devoiding it of any tension, drama, suspense, or danger which will surely test viewers’ patience. In addition to nothing happening, the film included scenes that had nothing to do with the story at all, such as cutting in and out of an Israeli dance troupe. By the time the actual hostage rescue happened, it was too little too late. Ultimately, those who prefer action scenes over heavy dialog scenes will definitely not enjoy this film.
Any film that tries to humanize the terrorists at the expense of the hostages is probably not a good choice. Regardless of this, the acting was okay although the writing didn’t do them any favors. Brühl and Pike were okay and had decent chemistry as the German hijackers Wilfried Böse and Brigitte Kuhlmann but they were never quite believable as they just didn’t fit within the story. Marsan was okay as Minister of Defense Shimon Peres, despite doing nothing more than keeping the same facial expression throughout. Ben Schnetzer was okay as a pointless Israeli soldier that the film didn’t even bother to give a name.
Overall, this was a boring, potentially inaccurate, historical thriller devoid of any tension, drama, suspense, or danger thanks to aimless storytelling and a mediocre script full of empty characters.