Some of the ladies of Stardust have recently started a weekly movie club. “What the heck are we watching this week?” I asked our organizer. There was no obvious choice. I ran thru the list of options, and this caught her attention. I’d been on the fence about it, but I do love me some Oscar Isaac, so I was game to go.
Oscar Isaac leads a team of Israeli secret agents, who have finally located Ben Kingsley’s Adolf Eichmann, a high ranking officer of the SS who has been in hiding for 20 years. The mission is to apprehend Eichmann and bring him back to stand trial in Israel. If successful, he’d be the highest ranking SS officer to face an actual trial and justice for his WWII war crimes. They just have to get him there first.
I found the story fascinating. There’s a reason we love spy movies, and seeing a real one play out was captivating. However, the problem with a real spy story is that it isn’t constant suspense and action, like you’d see with James Bond. There’s ebbs and flows in the story, and the ebbs felt very draggy, despite the incredible tension of the flows.
To fill those gaps, there were some moments of dramatic tension between Isaac and Kingsley. For me, this wasn’t quite the so-intense-I-can’t-recognize-the-actor type of performance from Kingsley, but more of the completely-relishing-the-role-with-a-twinkle-of-mischief type. The former is more impressive, but I find the later more fun and interesting. Isaac was all swagger, as we’ve come to know and love him for. I don’t know that there was as much depth as I’d hoped for, but he still commands the screen with confidence and grace.
Speaking of grace, I was also excited to see Melanie Laurent in the mix. I wish Hollywood had found more uses for her in the ten years since Inglorious Basterds, but it is great to see she can still stick it to the Nazi’s with the big boys. Also in the mix, Nick Kroll trying to prove his serious chops while also trying to provide the comic relief. Solid attempt at both.
This film is definitely gonna benefit from the slow release weekend to attract an audience. I don’t think it woulda stood a chance in the heart of Oscar season coming up. It does serve as a nice appetizer tho
Operation Finale – \m/ \m/ \m/