Tuesday 18th January 2022

Munich (15)
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

The world was rocked in 1972 when a terrorist group known as Black September launched an attack on the Olympic village in Munich, taking eleven Israeli athletes hostage and eventually killing them. Apparently. I can't be sure, because it was well before my time.

Everyone did their best to look interested<br>as Ephraim went through his holiday snaps
Everyone did their best to look interested
as Ephraim went through his holiday snaps

The Israeli's, by all accounts, weren't too happy about it and so launched an official, proportionate response on some recognised military targets. The subject of this film, and the book on which it is based ("Vengeance" by George Jonas) is the more covert measures that the Israeli government also took as a response to the Munich incident.

Eric Bana (Troy, Hulk) plays Avner, a Mossad agent who is hired to recruit and lead a team to retaliate by assassinating eleven Palestinians who were directly involved in the attack in Munich. Avner accepts the job despite having to leave his wife, who is seven months pregnant, to travel the world exacting Jewish retribution on his list of targets, in the form of bombs and bullets.

Considering the controversial subject matter, director Steven Spielberg does a good job of keeping the film apolitical. Unfortunately, he does an equally good job of concentrating on the events at hand, and doesn't fill the audience in on the historical background to this period. So if you haven't already got a pretty good idea of what went on, you won't get much of a history lesson from this film.

It's these two points combined that lead to the film's biggest flaw – what's the point? Without a clear political message or agenda, the only point the film can make is that violence begets violence and at over two and half hours in length, I expect more food for thought and more than two memorable sequences to take home with me. In fact, the chances are that your enduring memory of this film will be that it is long. Long and definitely erring on the side of boring. And long. God, it's long.

So to keep my review antithetically brief, I'd avoid this one if I were you. I can only think the film's serious subject matter is responsible for its recent Oscar nominations, but in my opinion The Beard would have been better off complimenting the title of his earlier film The Terminal by naming this one "Interminable".

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Length: 164 minutes
Certificate: 15
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 27th January 2006

Top Five Rating: 40.0%40.0%40.0%40.0%40.0%40.0%40.0%40.0%40.0%40.0% (40.0%)
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