Directed by Jose Padilha
Written by Gregory Burke
Starring: Rosamund Pike, Daniel Brühl, Eddie Marsan, Nonso Anozie
This film is based on the true story of Air France Flight 139, which was hijacked by The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The film was written by Gregory Burke (’71) and directed by Jose Padilha (Elite Squad). The stars of the film include Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl), Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War), Eddie Marsan (The World’s End), and Nonso Anozie (Cinderella (2015)).
The true story behind this film is pretty fascinating and anyone reading this should check it out. The screenplay was an attempt to boil down the events surrounding the hijacking into a more simple narrative. Unfortunately, this one finds all the wrong things to focus on. Without comparing fiction and history, this one makes some really strange choices on who to focus on. The more interesting characters feel sidelined, while the main characters are poorly written. The dialogue in this one is good at times, and very melodramatic at others. This one suffers from a number of issues that can’t be ignored. There are a number of scenes and even a small arc that are unnecessary and take away from the central arc of the plot. There are also a number of moments that feel unfinished. The real climax of the movie is poorly written, glossing over the best moments of the story. With such a promising premise, it’s a shame that the writing failed it.
The actors in this film did an okay job, but were clearly hampered by the script. Rosamund Pike might be considered a lead in this one, but her performance is robotic and uneven. She has some good moments, but I think the script left her with little to build a character with. Daniel Brühl also does good work at times but, like Pike, he didn’t seem to have much to work with. Eddie Marsan and Nonso Anozie are just a couple of the actors who brought out some good from the script. The cast in this one didn’t really have the opportunities to make this one work.
This movie is okay from a production standpoint, albeit a bit gimmicky at times. The camera work is solid, and the audio is fine. There is a possibility that the story issues might have been compounded by the editing as well. There are multiple timelines and stories being told, and the editing makes this feel jumbled and messy. It’s also a shame that in the moment where strong visuals might matter most, the film chooses to gloss over the action. It would be hard to recommend this one to anyone. Even fans of the stars are likely to be left disappointed. I give this one 1.3 out of 5 stars.
Running Time: 106 Minutes