A retelling of the 1976 hijacking of an Air France jet with 239 passengers aboard, among them 83 Israelis and how a successful rescue raid unfolded. This is one of the most astounding rescues ever attempted, and one of the most brilliant ever to be pulled-off.
2018, 1080p, DTS Master Audio 5.1, Rated PG-13, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1,1 hour and 47 minutes
Starring: Rosamund Pike and Daniel Brühl
Director: José Padilha
This is not the first film about the raid on the Entebbe Airport to rescue Israeli hostages from German and Palestinian terrorists. I’m aware of 5, the best known was the quickly put together TV movie that aired on NBC and starred Peter Finch, Charles Bronson and Yaphet Kotto.
This latest version of the story has its moments, but the motivations of the German hijackers are never very clear, and the director thought it would be a good idea to open the film with a metaphoric Israeli dance number that is inserted several times in the film, draining all momentum from the story. I knew those dance numbers would keep repeating and found myself dreading their reappearance.
Daniel Brühl and Rosamund Pike are fine in their roles but held back by a less than perfect script.
At times the direction is very taut, and the smaller parts are played very well and realistically. However, at what should have been the dramatic peak of a scene, those damned dancers appear again.
Still, the film has its moments and is shot in a very realistic fashion. Scenes in the cockpit and back in the passenger section look real and movies with airplanes often fail with mocked up sets and cockpit interiors that don’t look authentic. The lighting, the vibrations, the sounds are all very well done to draw the viewer into the moment.
We do get some insights as to what the Israeli government was going through and the film takes a darker turn when the Israeli are separated from the rest of the passengers and crew.
There were debates about negotiating with the hijackers, but ultimately a large strike force was put together to kill the hijackers and rescue the Israelis. All but 4 were freed.
It’s all well-presented, but people expecting an action film will be disappointed. The rescue takes only a few minutes.
Most of the film is the Israelis debating their response, the reactions of the terrified passengers, and the murky motives of the German hijackers who spend a lot of screen time arguing with the Palestinians who were involved in the plot.
Video-wise, the film looks beautiful. The bright skies of Uganda and the dark rooms where some of the hostages were kept all look stunning.
The DTS-MA 5.1 surround track is not a stand out however. I thought the gunshots lacked impact and other than a few airplane fly-bys there was not a lot of surround to be had. It’s not a bad soundtrack, just not a great one either.
The Entebbe Team (1080p, 7:24): The real story the film is based on, and bringing the story to the screen
Inside the Raid (1080p, 7:45): Details on the raid, with interviews of participants, along with details ion recreating the story
Additional Dance Sequences (1080p, 5:26): Yes, even more not needed dancing!