GRINGO, a dark comedy mixed with white-knuckle action and dramatic intrigue, explores the battle of survival for businessman Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo) when he finds himself crossing the line from law-abiding citizen to wanted criminal.
In July 1976, an Air France flight from Tel-Aviv to Paris via Athens was hijacked and forced to land in Entebbe, Uganda. The Jewish passengers were separated and held hostage in demand to release many terrorists held in Israeli prisons. After much debate, the Israeli government sent an elite commando unit to raid the airfield and release the hostages.
StudioCanal optioned the rights to "Operation Thunderbolt: Flight 139 and the Raid on Entebbe Airport, the Most Audacious Hostage Rescue Mission in History" (published December 1, 2015), by Saul David. The book contains information that had previously not been available for books written about "Operation Thunderbolt." See more »
The "Anafaza," a dance that appears throughout the film, debuted in 1995. See more »
My father and I went into this film having heard nothing about this new dramatization of the famous rescue operation. I checked movie listings and saw this title and thought my Dad and I would like it since we're both history buffs and I loved the old TV movie that I saw many times growing up in the '80s.
This movie was very disappointing. It was frightfully boring and came across more as a pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel piece of propaganda. Under the guise of "balance," the film shows its bias. The terrorists' motives are rationalized throughout the film and great care is given to humanizing them. The Israelis are seen as dithering and even agreeing that they need to stop making war and start negotiating, as if the long-standing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is something caused by Israeli intransigence and not, at the very least, a complicated issue with actors on both sides continuing to stir the pot. Worst of all, one of the most famous special forces operations in history, a military action that Israel is rightly proud of on so many levels, is shoved to the side. There's a strange focus in this film on a nobody Israeli soldier whose girlfriend is a dancer and the climactic "raid on Entebbe" is literally intercut with scenes from a modern dance stage performance, complete with a Broadway-style song. My father said he was "disturbed" by the inclusion of that dance performance. It didn't belong there and completely destroyed what little tension was building up. Clearly, it's only purpose was to undercut the heroism and brilliance of the actual rescue operation.
The TV movie from decades ago had a true all-star cast, with some big-name stars having small roles. This new movie shows how the political winds have changed in Hollywood.
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