Movie Critique: Munich
Just before 5 am on September 5, 1972, eight terrorist entered the rooms of the Israeli athletes in the Olympic village of Munich, Germany. The ensuing drama that unfolds in the movie Munich is suspenseful, and intriguing; the action is compelling, and sometimes heart-wrenching. The screenplay was adapted by Tony Kushner and Eric Roth from the book Vengeance written by George Jonas(Cohen). Producer Steven Spielberg describes it as “Israel’s covert response to Munich…that looks at the mechanics of assassination (Munich).” Munich was released just before Christmas (Dec 23) in 2005 and made around $47.4 million dollars at the box office (Cohen). After winning the DVD on eBay, I received it two weeks later and watched it around 8:30 pm that same night. I did not realize the movie was 163 minutes long until I noticed how late it was getting and it felt like I was only in the middle of the movie. Eric Bana stars in this movie as Avner Kaufman, the leader of a team of four other Mossad agents who have all committed their lives to Israel’s ultimate fight and cause. The now famous Daniel Craig (current James Bond) plays Steve, who is somewhat of the “bad-boy” of the group. Geoffrey Rush is Ephraim, the group’s case officer, and Ciaran Hands plays the analytic “good-guy” role of Carl. The movie opens with a group of American athletes returning from a night out on the town, and they assist what they perceived to be a group of fellow Olympians out past their curfew (just like them), over the gate that barricaded the Olympic Village. They were all dressed in jumpsuits and had tote bags (like athletes), but, immediately after entering the village and parting ways with their unsuspecting accomplices, they placed their jumpsuits in the tote bags and pulled out their masks and machine guns. These were the eight members of the terrorist group Black September that would storm Building 31 and enter the rooms of the athletes chosen to represent Israel. They went on to kill two Israelis and capture nine hostages. The scenes of these events were thrilling and action packed, however, this story was not concentrated on the over 21 hour hostage situation, which ultimately led to the death of 5 of the Palestinian terrorists and all 11 Israelis captured in Munich that night. Instead it was focused on the course of action taken by Prime Minister of Israel, Golda Meir, for the vengeance of these Israeli lives lost and the ensuing drama. Under her orders, agent Avner Kaufman(Eric Bana) was asked to resign from Mossad (Israeli intelligence) to lead a secret squad of men that would operate with no association to Israel in order to locate and assassinate 11 Palestinian targets that had a hand in the Munich murders. The story centers in on the actions, events, and conflicts that this unconventionally grouped team of 5 ordinary men must endure to carry out their assassination missions successfully. Avner Kaufman and his team members are all fictional characters loosely based on the information given to George Jonas by Julal Aviv for his book Vengeance (Biewen). Julal Aviv is alleged to be a former Mossad agent that took part in many international military missions for Israel and claims to have led Operation Wrath of God, an operation to assassinate the Palestinian terrorists who carried out the 1972 Munich murders (Biewen). During the making of the film there had been many debates concerning the authenticity of Julal Aviv’s actual role in any team of assassins and have yet to be officially confirmed or denied (Biewen). Many of the details of the historical events and even the names of many important key figures in this movie are very accurate and I think depicted very well. There was an abundant use of actual news video and audio clips that I feel aided in the feel of authenticity throughout the film. In an interview of the Israeli coach that escaped the Black September attacks, he stated that one...
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