Monday, February 06, 2006


Lou and I watched Speilbergs latest offering Munich on Saturday night about the events of the 1972 Munich Olympics. Most people generally know about the 11 Israeli athletes kidnapped and murdered but what they don't know is the reprecussion of this where a group of men were chosen to assassinate the Black September instigators of the murders.

Eric Bana is the leader chosen to eliminate the Munich terrorist group leaders of Black September and they soon set about tracking them down and attempting to eliminate them by blowing them up using simple but effective devices besides plain gunning them down. However, it is unlcear from the film just how they manage to go from no leads to finding a source who provides a name and location for exorbant fees for all the required killings. Nevertheless, the scenes themselves are technically and proficiently executed. As the movie progresses, the men become embedded in their task and tensions mount as things threaten to spiral out of control because of what they are being asked and what they are carrying out.

Speilberg is a great storyteller and generally his films are handled with skill and aplomb. However, he rarely injects that magical oomph that makes his films masterpieces. Always consistently good but never really amazing. I'm sure many of his fans will argue against this synopsis but I'm not sleighting the man. At nearly three hours long, some of the scenes and plot points are just too long and detract from the story. Nevertheless, the acting is top notch even if accents change throughout the film. By the end of the movie you are on neither one side or the other in terms of affinity because essentially they are both murdering each other and you should understand that no matter who you kill in terrorist networks, more will always take their place. It is a never ending bitter struggle between two groups of people who believe they are right.

Munich is a story worth telling and because it is based on true events, there's always a questionable interpretation of what happened based on who is telling the story. Whether or not Speilberg was the man to tell this story, one cannot be certain but on its own merits, the film is watchable if at some times long and confusing.

I would give this film 3.5 gold medals out of 5.



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