Operation Finale Review

Updated: Mar 13



Nothing makes me sadder than a film wasting what could potentially be an interesting plot. Sadly, Operation Finale falls under that category. I hadn’t heard a lot about Operation Finale leading up to it’s release. The one trailer that I did watch for it was well made, and made the film seem to have plenty of intrigue and suspense, so I went into the film optimistic. After all, I love films set in and around World War 2, and several the cast members had starred in movies that I enjoy before. Sadly, I was let down tremendously by one of, if not the most boring movie I have seen all year. The plot of Operation Finale centers around a group of individuals working for the Israeli government who are tasked with capturing Adolf Eichmann, one of Hitler’s high-ranking officials, and the person considered to be at the forefront of the Holocaust movement. Sounds interesting enough, right? Well, no, not really. Where to begin? Well, to start, the seemingly fascinating plot is painfully boring, unevenly paced, badly written, and just all around dull. The movie has an admittedly interesting first twenty minutes or so, focusing on the discovery of Eichmann and the subsequent plot to capture him and bring him to face justice in an Israeli court for his crimes against humanity. However, as the movie continues to chug along, the screenwriters decided to spend almost an hour of the only two-hour long film on a single plot point so unimportant, that it is glossed over in a montage style ending that felt entirely rushed and completely uninspired. As I mentioned earlier, the cast was one of the main reasons the film intrigued me. Oscar Isaac is a fantastic actor, as is Ben Kingsley. Both do well enough with their respective roles, considering the material they were given to work with. However, the rest of the cast is painfully uninteresting, with little to no character motivations at all. Outside of the Isaac and Kingsley’s characters, I couldn’t name you one memorable thing about any of the rest of the cast members (and I’m currently struggling to even remember Isaac’s character’s name, so that should say something). To me, the film felt like a Hallmark Channel type film with a slightly higher than usual budget. While the film certainly looks like it was set in the 1960’s, the production design felt really cheap. Costumes and vehicles look age appropriate, but in a weird way that almost seemed noticeably fake. The cinematography is some of the most flat and bland looking camera work I’ve seen in a long time. There are at least two shots in the film that I thought looked good, but the rest of the film looked like the person responsible for the color grading had fallen asleep at their computer, with colors looking either bleached out or a horrible shade of tan. The direction is also uninspired, and never does anything new or inventive. Additionally, the score, by the truly gifted Alexandre Desplat, begins with an interesting theme, but then becomes completely forgettable, a shame considering the incredible music he has shown that he is able to create before. In summary, I found very little to enjoy within Operation Finale. The final act does eventually pick up some momentum, however, I found it difficult to enjoy simply because of how tedious the previous two-thirds of the film had been before. It feels like a wasted opportunity to tell an interesting and important story. There are good moments within the film, but good moments do not a good film make. I give Operation Finale one and a half stars. Written by Perry Cononge

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