Ever since Amelie I have had expectations of every film in which Audrey stars. This must be the worst.
Find some way to preview a bit of this film before buying it. Don't be taken in by the blurb on the DVD case. And don't be seduced by enthusiasts waxing lyrically on this site.
I had a reputation in my family for choosing duff films. I have just exceeded myself. Be warned.
If you like ordinary romances, action films, thrillers or maybe even those enigmatic witty A-list french films then I wouldn't recommend it. I don't agree with some other critics that it is pretentious because it is very original, well-made and arty. But without wanting to spoil it, the plot is deeply unsatisfying.
I feel compelled to write this review because you have to be warned that just because 8000 people rate this as 7.5 it doesn't mean you will like it. If you are choosing for a group of people, you'd do better to go for a film that 80000 rate highly.
Sean Bean and Danny Dyer are excellent, and I enjoyed the introduction of Isabella Miko. Other casting was adequate (although I would have preferred someone like Susannah York - ex Battle of Britain - for the role of Holbrook) I have a hunch that the negative reviews of this film may be from a non-UK audience; one that is not comfortable with ordinary heroes, realistic language (the F-word), and the audience being left to complete elements of the story. The ending is sufficient, and the suspense well-maintained throughout, with plenty of action - some a little more unpleasant that you might want in a 15 - but that is the nature of war. Nothing gratuitous, but nothing patronisingly anodyne.
I have watched a lot of war films over the last 50 years and this is definitely one of the better ones.
Although slanted towards current diplomats there is a message here for all. This is a film that anyone who has a concern for what is right should watch. It refreshes beliefs in the injustice that was meted out to the Jews and Tutsi. It is also an excellent historical documentary, touching a subject in breadth that is sometimes restricted to the well known stories of particular refugees.
It is a little slow to start, and to me there was some awkwardness from the narrators/interviewers and some weak camera-work, which gives a slightly amateurish feel. However it soon becomes fully engaging. Any weaknesses are overcome by the supreme quality of research (much helped by Sir Martin Gilbert), writing (Anthony Valleta) direction (Martin King). The interviewees are authentic and well worth hearing.
The film runs through various examples of courage shown by diplomats in WW2 which led to the saving of hundreds of thousands of Jews. Alongside this is contrasted the situation in Rwanda in 1994. Interviews with families of Holocaust survivors and their rescuers are interspersed with archive WW2 footage and montages of WW2 and Rwandan stills. Sir Martin Gilbert and Stephanie Nyombayire provide narration, interaction and continuity throughout.
The message the audience carry away is that although the phrase "Never Again" became a mantra following the Holocaust, genocide still continues. Although not covered in this film, the film offers a line of support over the approach taken by NATO in Libya. And you may find it challenges you over other current situations where thousands are dying.
I could have watched the original A-Team, Dukes of Hazzard, or Kojak and had a much better evening. True there is some clever 70's pastiche. There are a few laughs. But the rendition is so predictably dire it is cringe-making or tedious rather than funny. There are also some rather gross moments that would never have made it past 70's censors.
I am not saying that the other reviewers are wrong. It is just that I come away being so glad I don't have to live through the 70's again. Perhaps if you didn't then this film will give you an insight into how bad some 70's films and TV were in one shot.
The look of the lead character, and the scenes of fast cars at the beginning give it a lot of promise, with a good idea and some action, but the film soon slowed, became repetitive and then relied on a series of clichéd moments for effect.
Some of these ancillary plot lines are rather tacky. They include alternative forms of sex, including with a 16 yr old, and drink-spiking.
Personally I would have rated this as an 18.
We stopped watching after an hour and I am terribly sorry, but I have to say it was one of the worst films I have ever seen.