Entebbe focuses on the true story of the 1976 Israeli hostage rescue crisis. Which was about a terrorist organisation who hijacked a plane, with a large portion of Israelis on it and flew it to Entebbe in Uganda. Once there they tried to use the passengers as leverage to negotiate Israel into a prisoner release. Overall this is a very tense film, with the hostage scenes, in particular, reflecting this: due to you having a real fear for the passengers. This fear is helped greatly by terrific performances by Daniel Bruhl and Rosamund Pike. Bruhl brings a strong ambiguity to the character, as you see him begin to question If he is doing the right thing. However, the real standout here is Pike’s character of Brigitte Kuhlmann, who we see is incredibly unhinged, confirmed by a third act plot twist; and being the highlight of the film. Conversely, there are also significant issues with the character development. These issues are a lack of motivation for both Bose, (Daniel Bruhl) and Kuhlmann as we never see why they want to carry out this high jacking: beyond simply being angry at the status quo and “hating their country”. This issue is only intensified by the fact that Kuhlman is given flashbacks that seem to serve no purpose narratively. So, ultimately the characters are two dimensional. Furthermore, there are also significant pacing issues, best shown during a needless subplot focusing on a relationship between an Israeli Defence Force member and a dancer; which feels overly long. The modern dance scenes, which are a result of this plotline, feel tacked on for the sake of it. Making you wonder if they were included by the director Jose Padilha to make the film seem artsy, but instead missed the mark and are pretentious. The third act action scene is quite oddly bloodless, with the use of slow motion and, cuts to modern dance, not really letting you see much of what is going on. However, the accompanying non-diegetic piece of music does help to add to the tension.
Finally, the performance by Nonso Anozie as Idi Amin is in quite a contrast to the rest of the cast. Though Anozie plays Amin as serious there are moments of levity throughout his performance, which made people in my screening laugh, this is quite jarring. Overall there are highlights such as the score, as well as strong performances from Bruhl and Pike that help to elevate their stinted characters, but this simply isn’t enough as the pacing issues and, bloodless violence really do hurt the film.
Reviewed by Luke

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