AN UNFORTUNATE THUMBS DOWN FILM REVIEW RATING!
Most people over the age of 40 remember the terrible events surrounding the killing of the 1972 eleven-member Israeli Olympic team by a group of Palestinian extremists. Their abduction from Munich and ultimate death pulled a shroud over the games. Because of this horrific event, security at subsequent Olympic games has been ratcheted up significantly. But that’s not why we’re here discussing Steven Spielberg’s film. We’re here to see why I didn’t give it a resounding "Thumbs Up".
Historically MUNICH is interesting. Not only does it show the horrors mankind can inflict upon one another, but it also shows the repercussions of reacting in an equal measure of violence to such an event. When Israel decides to form a death squad and send them out to eliminate the terrorists who dealt the deadly blows to the Israeli Olympians, a message we’ve heard a million times comes a-smackin’ us in the face: evil begets evil.
The acting is fairly blasé with the exception of the main character, Avner (Eric Bana, TROY.) In fact, I can’t recall a single other memorable person in the film. I remember that there’s a bomb-maker, a clean-up man, and a couple of shooters, but that’s all I remember of them.
The length of the film is extreme. At 2 hours and 44 minutes, nodding off was almost inevitable. Mr. Spielberg is, perhaps, spoiled in that he can do whatever he wants in Hollywood and for as long as he wants (the remake of WAR OF THE WORLDS being a prime example.)
I don’t mean to belittle the atrocious circumstances surrounding this true story, nor do I mean to invalidate the message Steven Spielberg so desperately wants to get across to us. It’s a vital and unfortunate part of human history. But I felt the story lagged and was forced upon the viewer rather than coming across in a fluid manner.
Although I watched and enjoyed the Oscars this year, MUNICH stood out as the "stinker" in the Best Film category. I would’ve much preferred to see HUSTLE AND FLOW in the mix instead of this flick.