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The Films of Sean Ellis

Cashback

Click here for review.

The Broken

Metro Manila

Anthropoid (August 23/16)

Based on true events, Anthropoid follows WWII soldiers Josef Gabcik (Cillian Murphy) and Jan Kubis (Jamie Dornan) as they set out to assassinate, with the help of several others, one of the Nazi's top men and the architect of Adolf Hitler's "Final Solution." It's a stirring premise that's employed to decidedly spotty effect by co-writer and director Sean Ellis, as Anthropoid boasts an attention-grabbing first act that segues into a deliberately-paced and awfully chatty midsection - with much of the narrative detailing the protagonists' attempts at planning and preparing for the aforementioned execution (ie it's a whole lot of waiting around). And although the heavy, heavy accents muddle a good portion of the dialogue, Ellis does a nice job of punctuating the proceedings with several impressively electrifying scenes and interludes (eg a couple of Nazis walk into the pub where our heroes are hiding out). There's little doubt, however, that Anthropoid's high point comes at around the halfway point, as Ellis delivers an absolutely enthralling assassination sequence that's almost Hitchcockian in its escalation of tension. (The payoff, exciting as it is, is admittedly dulled somewhat by Ellis' regrettable reliance on handheld camerawork.) It's clear, too, that the movie benefits substantially from an engrossing, action-packed final stretch, with the effectiveness of that and other portions of the picture ultimately compensating for a meandering execution and palpably overlong running time.

out of

© David Nusair