Entebbe tells the true story of the hijacking of Air France flight 139 in 1976. The plane took off from Paris to Tel Aviv and was then taken over by members of the popular front for the liberation of Palestine that included two German Citizens.
The flight made its way to Entebbe airport in Uganda. The hijackers demanded that Palestinian prisoners be released. They were being held in five different countries (40 of them in Israel). Israel stood by its no negotiation policy. That led to one of the most difficult, but successful rescue missions, Operation Thunderbolt. One hundred Israeli commandos flew four thousand kilometres, rescuing 102 of the 106 passengers that were in the airport. They also killed all of the hijackers in the process.
There has been a number of movies that have included the story of the Entebbe airport rescue. And now we have the new movie Entebbe, also known as Seven Days In Entebbe. Drawn to this movie initially because of the subject, it is just my cup of tea. A tense political thriller based on true events, topped off with special forces raiding a hostage situation. The cast looked great with the two lead characters played by Daniel Brühl and Rosamund Pike. Both are great actors, especially Daniel Brühl. However, regardless of the premise and cast showing huge promise this movie never gets off the ground.
José Padilha, who directed Narcos, was so focused on creating something ‘different' that the screenplay gets washed away with overwhelming artistic impressionism. The actual focus of the story is lost. A story that should have delivered tension and suspense instead ambles along at a sedate pace. It really does feel like seven days.
The opening of the film focuses on an interpretive dance team performing their latest routine. What relevance this has to the event is bewildering. It is clearly an artistic choice made by the director. Even more ridiculous is that as the actual rescue mission is in full flight, the audience is again bombarded, not with tense action scenes, but with a new interpretive dance routine. It frustratingly overlays the most important part of the film. Still not done, we even get more interpretive dance in the credits of the film!
The most incredible thing about this film was how somebody was allowed to ruin it so badly. It's an amazing story so I cannot believe that nobody involved with the production didn't say anything about the wildly edited dance scenes.
Generally, the camera work is great. The script from Gregory Burke is great too. That's despite the fact that the story misses out significant parts. Scenes of the Ugandan Air force were taken out of the attack. As well as the Air France crew who received awards for bravery for staying with the passengers. Daniel Brühl, Rosamund Pike and also Eddie Marsan give great performances. It is just a shame that with the talent at hand the Director chose to turn his focus elsewhere.