Based on the extraordinary true story of Operation Anthropoid, the WWII mission to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the main architect behind the Final Solution and the Reich's third in command after Hitler and Himmler.
ANTHROPOID is based on the extraordinary true story of Operation Anthropoid, the World War II mission to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich. The Reich's third in command after Hitler and Himmler, Heydrich was the main architect behind the Final Solution and the leader of occupying Nazi forces in Czechoslovakia whose reign of terror prompted self-exiled Czech and Slovak soldiers (played by Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan) to hatch a top-secret mission that would change the face of Europe forever.i Written by
After months of slogging through big-budget, special effects studio films that were just "fine" all summer, I've finally encountered a hidden gem that is well worth watching.
ANTHROPOID is a World War II film starring Cillian Murphy that tells the true tale of a group of Czech resistance fighters on a mission (Codenamed ANTHROPOID) to assassinate Nazi SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the "Butcher of Prague".
Director and writer Sean Ellis (The Proposal) really breaks through in this taught thriller that is part drama, part thriller and part action movie. Ellis creates a group of real people (the drama part of the film) with real relationships operating undercover in a very dangerous situation (the thriller part) in order to carry out orders to assassinate the #3 in command of the German hierarchy (the action part).
Some will find the first hour of the movie a bit slow as Ellis builds up his characters and their relationships. This turns out to be an important slow burn build-up and really pays off as the action starts heating up the screen and you are really invested in what happens to these people.
The acting is top-notch starting with Murphy, who I looked at in this movie and wondered why he isn't a bigger star. As Mission Leader Josef Gabcik, he is strongly focused on the mission only to find out the real human consequences of his actions along the way. He is ably assisted by Jamie Dornan (who proves there is a real actor underneath the 50 Shades of Gray) as his partner who needs to find the courage to go through with the mission and the always reliable Toby Jones as the head of the Czech underground. These 3 known (at least to me) stars are joined by strong European actors/actresses, most notably Marcin Dorocinski (as a reluctant Resistance fighter), Alena Mihulava (as the woman who hides the resistance fighters), and Harry Lloyd (the ranking Czech officer). Most impressive to me is the work of Czech actress Anna Geislerova (as another resistance fighter). I could not take my eyes off of her when she was on the screen, so had to look her up. She has over 100 credits, none of which is widely known to US audiences (mostly Czech films). I would love to see her do other things.
The acting is good, the script/drama is tight and the action (once it is started) is terrific, showing just enough that you know where everyone is in relation to the others, what they are doing and what peril they are in. Director Ellis avoids going "overboard" and the action is all the better for it. The big studios could learn a thing or two about "less is more" from this film.
I really enjoyed this one - it was a welcome break from the onslaught of special effects that has become the norm in the summer - and I STRONGLY recommend it to you.
A strong 8 (out of 10) stars and you can take that to the Bank (of Marquis)
40 of 54 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this