Entebbe (12A)



Thriller (2018)
107mins UK/US

Starring: Daniel Bruhl, Rosamund Pike, Eddie Marsan, Lior Ashkenazi, Ben Schnetzer
Director: Jose Padilha
Writer(s): Gregory Burke
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Shortly after Air France flight 139 departs Tel Aviv carrying predominantly Israeli and Jewish passengers, German revolutionaries Wilfried Bose and Brigitte Kuhlmann and their accomplices retrieve guns from hand luggage and storm the cockpit. Eventually, exhausted passengers touch down in Uganda. Yitzhak Rabin and the rest of the Israeli cabinet, including minister of defence Shimon Peres, are faced with a ransom demand: the lives of the passengers in exchange for the release of prisoners.

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LondonNet Film Review
Entebbe (12A)

The real-life hijacking of an Air France flight in June 1976 by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and a subsequent rescue mission led by Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), are terrific raw ingredients for an edge-of-seat geo-political thriller. Director Jose Padilha would seem to be the perfect choice to mercilessly crank up tension as the fates of terrorists, hostages and commandos collide head-on at Entebbe airport in Uganda. The award-winning Brazilian filmmaker stormed the festival circuit in 2007 with his nerve-jangling debut Elite Squad, a gritty, propulsive portrait of crime, punishment and sweat-drenched machismo set in the crime-riddled favelas of Rio de Janeiro...

Entebbe. Copyright: Entertainment One. Caption: Rosamund Pike as Brigitte Kuhlmann in Entebbe, directed by Jose Padiha. Photo: Liam Daniel. All Rights Reserved.Regrettably, the qualities that set Elite Squad apart more than a decade ago are sorely lacking from this crushingly dull modern history lesson penned by Gregory Burke, which bungles the IDF's storming of the airport terminal, taking the fight to the terrorists, by relying on a surfeit of slow-motion camerawork. The most exciting element of Padilha's underwhelming film is a contemporary dance performance that punctuates all of the turgid to and fro between members of the Israeli cabinet led by Yitzhak Rabin and the hostage takers. Dancers are expressive and expertly choreographed but the dramatisation that waltzes around them is depressingly flat-footed.

Shortly after Air France flight 139 departs Tel Aviv carrying predominantly Israeli and Jewish passengers, German revolutionaries Wilfried Bose (Daniel Bruhl) and Brigitte Kuhlmann (Rosamund Pike) and their accomplices retrieve guns from hand luggage and storm the cockpit. The terrorists divert the plane to Benghazi in Libya, where Wilfried clashes with flight engineer Jacques Le Moine (Denis Menochet) during several hours on the runway to refuel. Eventually, exhausted passengers touch down in Uganda, where they become the guests of the country's fearsome president, Idi Amin (Nonso Anozie). Rabin (Lior Ashkenazi) and the rest of the Israeli cabinet, including minister of defence Shimon Peres (Eddie Marsan), are faced with a ransom demand: the lives of the passengers in exchange for the release of prisoners. While Rabin advocates diplomacy to defuse a volatile situation, Peres refuses to negotiate with terrorists and conceives a daring plan for IDF forces, including Zeev Hirsch (Ben Schnetzer) and Yonatan Netanyahu (Angel Bonanni), to neutralise the threat in a daring raid. "If I were still a general, I would never approve this mission," laments Rabin as he shoulders the burden of his country's expectations of a bloodless resolution to the crisis.

Entebbe takes 107 turgid minutes to oscillate back and forth between the two camps, reiterating conflicting political stances without delving into the meaty back stories of the characters spouting those words. Bruhl and Pike are squandered in thankless roles devoid of verbal fireworks and emotional complexity. When the dust settles on the climactic shootout, we feel nothing for the faceless and the fallen.

- Kim Hu

Entebbe. Copyright: Entertainment One. Caption: Rosamund Pike as Brigitte Kuhlmann in Entebbe, directed by Jose Padiha. Photo: Liam Daniel. All Rights Reserved.


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