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Eli is an Israeli soldier who manages to escape from a notorious Arab prison. He makes it back to Israel, where he finds Beno, another soldier who had spent 2 years of horror in the same prison. They organize a rescue operation against the prison. The soldiers must use both cunning and boldness if they are to help their fellow Israelis regain their freedom. Written by
A marginal effort that squanders an exciting premise.
This movie, one of 8 films in a budget DVD set of 'classic' war films (yeah, right) that I bought, seemed to be promising enough for me to invest 90 minutes of viewing time. Unfortunately, there was precious little return on my time investment. The film begins with one of several Israeli commandos escaping from a notorious prison in some unnamed Arab country, which "borders Israel." The escapee makes it back to Israel, convalesces from his wounds, and quickly pulls together another group of commandos to rescue his comrades. A simple premise, but producer/director Menachem Golan manages to turn a promising action film into a disjointed and illogical mess. To begin with, there is no explanation given for why the commandos were in another country, nor what they were doing there. The implication is that they were spies, yet the audience is (apparently) supposed to accept these plug-ugly, unsympathetic characters as the 'good guys'. The main bad guy (the Arab prison director) is a cartoon-like character who bears a marked resemblance to former Egyptian president Sadat (there is a scene where a picture of former Egyptian president Nassar is seen on Bad Guy's desk). Things get more confusing with the arrival of ex TV soap opera regular Peter Brown, playing an American journalist doing a story on the infamous prison. Seems he's really a collaborator in the rescue effort, although none of the Israelis know him. The rest of the film deals with the rescue itself, with the requisite gun battles, explosions, etc, and the ultimate rescue. While the acting is okay, the film was poorly edited. It seems that whole segments of footage must have been cut out, resulting in a disjointed result. The interior scenes are so dark as to be nearly unwatchable, although the outdoor scenes look good. The gun battles, etc. are pedestrian at best, and the movie's characters are shallow, seeming to be almost caricatures (the stoic, downtrodden Israelis, the idealistic American supporter, the dastardly Arab military leader, etc.). The film came across to me as more of an Israeli propaganda exercise than anything. It might appeal to 17-year old Israeli males, or to other viewers with low expectations. While I have certainly seen worse films, overall this is a pretty weak excuse for a movie.
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