Friday, December 30, 2005

"Spielberg is plainly nervous about the impulse behind this film, which is why he tosses in wisecracks, further flashbacks to Munich, soft chats between Avner and his mother, and anything else he can, so as to honor and legitimatize a series of state-approved kills. If he had told the story straight, without such hedging, and at half the length, it would have borne far more conviction. At the least, we would have been spared the sight, toward the end, of Avner having sex with his wife while images of the hostage ordeal flood his weary brain. How’s that? Is he fathering new life to replace the dead, or getting off on the sound of German helicopters? What a curious arc this movie has described: starting in terror, and ending up on the very brink of kitsch."