Entebbe: Film Review

Most dramatisations of real-life incidents take the interesting facts and add drama to them to make them as cinematic and exciting as possible. Entebbe doesn’t do that – in fact, it manages to take an interesting real-life hijacking and make it seem quite flat and straightforward.

Entebbe stars Daniel Bruhl and Rosamund Pike as Wilfried and Brigitte, two Germans working with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and as part of their ‘revolution’ the activists hijack an Air France plane from Tel Aviv to Paris following its stop in Athens. Israeli officials think they will come back to Tel Aviv but instead they fly to Entebbe, Uganda and hold the passengers hostage inside the old airport terminal while they attempt to negotiate release terms with the Israelis.

This should have been really engrossing because it’s based on a riveting real-life situation (which happened in 1976) but it just rather flat. It’s like the film never wanted us to be excited or invested in anybody. The climax of the film is when the Israeli military launches an attack on the airport but it is so anticlimactic! It’s what we’ve been waiting for but it’s frustratingly intercut with a dance performance so it loses its impact. I love dance and a bit of choreography but this made no sense. It was truly baffling. Using the dance track throughout meant you could barely hear the action and it was a surprise when certain people died because it was so understated that you almost didn’t realise it happened.

Bruhl is a solid performer, but Pike, who I loved in Gone Girl, is excellent. They are both conflicted about the job, but she runs the gamut of emotions and is convincing when she speaks in German and with a German accent. It was jarring at first but then I was impressed. Other supporting stars include Denis Menochet as an Air France flight engineer, Ben Schetzner as a soldier, and Eddie Marsan as Shimon Peres, back when he was Minister of Defence.

Entebbe is frustrating because I wanted to be invested in the story but I just wasn’t. It didn’t capture me or reel me in. It just needed more drama and to do away with that bizarre climax that cuts between two scenes. It made no sense whatsoever to put them together and it stopped the film ending with a bang.

In cinemas Friday 11th May 

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