Complex Diplomacy: Our Review of ‘7 Days In Entebbe’ on Blu-Ray

Posted in Blu-Ray/DVD, Movies by - July 05, 2018
Complex Diplomacy: Our Review of ‘7 Days In Entebbe’ on Blu-Ray

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History can occasionally get a little messy…

With 7 Days In Entebbe we get a lean and mean little slice of history that while fairly messy still feels historically relevant as it just isn’t very kind to any of the parties involved and it makes for interesting but hardly vital edutainment.

Four hijackers take over an airplane, take the passengers hostage, and force it to land in Entebbe, Uganda in 1976 in an effort to free of dozens of Palestinians jailed in Israel.

Based on a true story, 7 Days In Entebbe has enough moments as a true to life political thriller to keep us engaged as an audience but without any genuinely likeable characters throughout the story it just feels like an exercise in story telling that makes us wish we were watching something in this vein that was just a little better executed.

Director Jose Padihla who some audiences know from his Elite Squad films in his native Brazil know that he is no stranger to being able to stage political action.  The narrative flows rather quickly and well keeping us hooked from the early goings but it fails to hook us on anything other than a historical or technical level.  The script from writer Gregory Burke who worked previously on the criminally underrated ’71 focuses a little too much on the social backdrops in play with Israeli, Jewish, Palestinian and German characters all in the mix trying to make each other feel horrible and having it wrapped around a variety of different set pieces.  Everything is well executed and well staged but it lacks any legitimate emotional punch relying on the facts of the events or via some well staged visuals to draw an emotional reaction out of us rather than through any kind of legitimate character development.  It made me wish for something like Munich which tells a story along the same social and political guidelines but allows us to get invested in the characters involved.

Daniel Bruhl and Rosamund Pike make for solid choices as our leads since these characters aren’t supposed to be all that sympathetic or even remotely likeable.  They play hair brained idealists and revolutionaries who only know how to ‘play’ at terrorist and get completely out of their element, we don’t have a lot of sympathy for them…and we’re never supposed which makes it hard to find anything interesting about the people taking up most of the screen time.  The dynamic between Eddie Marsan as Shimon Peres and Lior Ashkenazi as Yitzak Rabin was a lot more entertaining and interesting to watch as the political wheel and dealing behind the scenes with a country that historically never negotiated with terrorists and the planning of the dangerous and daring raid to save all these hostages makes for a much more interesting narrative then the actually terrorist act itself.  The narrative tries to force poignancy, but it goes about it entirely the wrong way because while the intent is undeniably correct the execution is sloppy and telegraphed.

Picture and sound quality on the Blu-Ray are solid as you’d expect, sadly special features only include some perfunctory behind the scenes looks at the making of the film.

Ultimately, 7 Days In Entebbe is half of an interesting film, while we are supposed to get hooked in by the plight of the terrorists and the motivation behind the acts that they are committing it ended up being a lot more interesting to see the trials and struggles of career politicians and military men not only try and do the right thing by saving the hostages but engineer it all in such a way that benefited them and their agendas.

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This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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