25th Oct2018

‘Operation Finale’ Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Oscar Isaac, Ben Kingsley, Mélanie Laurent, Lior Raz, Nick Kroll, Michael Aronov, Ohad Knoller, Greg Hill, Torben Liebrecht, Michael Benjamin Hernandez, Joe Alwyn, Greta Scacchi, Peter Strauss, Haley Lu Richardson | Written by Matthew Orton | Directed by Chris Weitz

operation-finale-poster

In 1960 a team of secret agents, led by Mossad agent Peter Malkin, set out to track down Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi officer who masterminded the transportation logistics that brought millions of innocent Jews to their deaths in concentration camps during the Holocaust…

Director Chris Weitz’s Operation Finale follows the haunting and terrifying true story of a team of Israeli secret service agents and their tense mission to identify and extract Adolf Eichmann, an architect of the Holocaust who escaped justice and fled to Argentina. Weitz film while almost perfectly evokes such a perfect 1960′s cinematic aesthetic and utilises a terrific cast, does little to showcase the haunting and intense thriller this real-life story undoubtedly holds in its power of consequence and justice.

To its credit, Operation Finale looks as if it was shot and produced in the time it was set. The 60′s John Sturges production, while never dependent upon either contextually or conceptually, evokes an efficient manner of time placement that feels real and raw. It doesn’t add anything to the overall proceedings but sufficiently places audiences into the time frame. That being said, much else, if not all of the production, does very little to impress or impose anything of interest or intrigue. The plot itself takes zero time or effort to introduce the severity of the events the occurred or unfolded, even in exposition the Holocaust is merely mentioned in passing or a throwaway line instead of the gut-wrenching heart of the film. Inadvertently creating a smaller emotionally driven picture of personal sentiment that’s lacking with poorly written character arcs.

The performances are mixed and lacking at best. Kingsley’s Eichmann, an amalgamation of Hannibal Lecter and Alex DeLarge sounds promising on the description given but on screen, the final product is a little all over the place. Eichman, implied through Kinglseys performance is a manipulative genius of sorts, but knowing where the film goes it’s somewhat contradictory to the character and person himself with how the film progresses. Therefore the character feels far more clumsy and sympathetic to the ghoulish monster he was. Included are some incredibly tone-deaf moments of humour with the intention to perhaps humanise but ultimately doing so sacrifices any and all eerie atmosphere.

Isaac, Kroll and Laurent put forward the most competent performances forward in the film. All characters aside from Isaac’s Peter Malkin are void of all depth and investment with such little screen time for the audience to engage. They hold so little weight in terms of arcs in influence or counterbalance, aside from the obvious moments of aggression towards the plan of action.

Operation Finale is out now.

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