Number of Times Seen – 4 (5 May 2006, DVD in 2008, 2010 and 25 Dec 2013)
Brief Synopsis – Following the terrorist attack on Israeli athletes during the Munich Olympics in 1972, an Israeli team of assassins try to enact revenge on the terrorist organizers.
My Take on it – Earlier this year, I reviewed a documentary called One Day in September (1999) that tells the story of what happened during the terrorist attack on Israeli athletes in Munich during the Olympics in 1972. This movie tells the continuation of that story as to how the Israelis enacted revenge on the men responsible for the attack.
Steven Spielberg tells this tale in an amazing way, he interweaves the story of the attack itself into the story of the reciprocity showing how difficult this task was on the operatives themselves. They are tasked with trying to find a way around the enigma of killing men who would be replaced quickly thus added new names to the list. This never ending cycle of violence from both sides that start out as a nationalistic act soon strains the men as they try to come to grips with the reality that they no longer know what they are fighting for.
Eric Bana is great here as the leader of the Israeli team, Avner who constantly questions the heroism of his own actions.
Spielberg is great at making violent movies with an anti-war message and this movie is no exception.
2005 was a strange year for movies and the ultimate winner of Best Picture at the Oscars was Crash (2004). Many of the Academy voters were torn as to whether to vote for the controversial movie about gay cowboys, Brokeback Mountain (2005) or this movie, which is controversial in it’s own right since it shows violence between Israelis and Arabs, so they ultimately chose the “safe” movie to vote for.
IMHO, this the best movie of the year hands down due to it’s complex and powerful message.
Years ago, I read the book this movie is based on called Vengeance by George Jonas and enjoyed it very much. No one will ever know how true to life this movie is, but there is proof that much of it did actually happen.
HBO made a movie in 1986 with Steven Bauer called The Sword of Gideon (1986) which is a shortened version of this story.
Bottom Line – Excellent adaptation of the book Vengeance. Powerful anti-war message by Spielberg. Perhaps the best movie of 2005 IMHO. Highly Recommended!
Rating – Oscar Worthy
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