Operation Finale

Release Date: August 30, 2018
Review Date: September 1, 2018
Reviewer: Blake Leath
Genre(s): Biopic, Drama, War

Good, not great, and primarily because of pacing (tedious), action (lacking), and tautness (minimal). The first scene was very promising (and, perhaps ironically, beautifully lit), but things tail off quickly thereafter.

I guess, in hindsight, I was expecting something a bit more intense like Valkyrie (or unreasonably hoping for another Schindler's List, Life is Beautiful, or Inglourious Basterds)but instead got something on the order of 2016's Allied or [gasp!] Waiting for Godot. 

Clearly, the movie was not aiming for an actiony vibe, and that's understandable. Seeing now that they were aiming instead for a suspenseful dialogue piece, however, I can't help but wonder what it might have become in the hands of a terse, veteran writer like Aaron Sorkin (versus, say, newbie Matthew Orton). I'm not a huge fan of Sorkin's chewing-the-scenery overkill, but you get the idea: The film could have benefited immeasurably from a few dashes of rat-a-tat-tat/prosecutorial exchanges (think Oliver Stone's JFK, for all I care), especially given the quiet, gray-bland room in which much of it unfolds. If there's going to be mostly 'nothing to see here,' then that [in]action should at least be punctuated with some gotcha, clever, highly-charged emotional back and forth to keep one's eye on the ball.

Lastly, I would have appreciated a few additional 'and then what happened was' factoids at the end, but it is what it is.

On a positive note, we found a couple new movie-runnin' buddies, so that's fun.

Enjoy Labor (Labour) Day, America (and Canada)!