Haiku Review: Operation Finale

Written by Matthew Orton
Directed by Chris Weitz

A team of agents tracks the mastermind behind the Holocaust, living secretly in peace years after the second World War.


Carried By Its Leads;
Uneven Script Needs Polish;
Often Feels Too Safe.

Watch in Theater Immediately
**Pickup at Redbox Upon Release**

Stream on Netflix/Watch on Cable
Don’t Waste Your Time


I had really high hopes for this one, probably to an unfair degree, because of how much I love Ben Kingsley and Oscar Isaac. They did not disappoint, as they were clearly the high points of the film, I just wish they were given stronger material. The script is problematic, never truly giving the proper weight to such an important historical event. Far from bad, the writing just doesn’t take enough chances, and when coupled with the direction, there just isn’t enough of a sense of danger for a spy thriller of this nature. The third act smacks of Argo, without the raised pulse that you are hoping for. Isaac’s character, Peter Malkin (the man who truly did lead the team of Mossad agents that caught Adolf Eichmann), often acts as both the moral compass of the film as well as its comic relief, which results in a sense of imbalance. That uneven tone is problematic for something that should convey real high drama and impending doom. This is certainly not a bad film, but for a thriller, it just never hits the stride it hopes for, much the same way that The Catcher was A Spy suffered similar issues earlier this year. However, the captor/prisoner dynamic between Isaac and Kingsley in their scenes together is fascinating to watch, and results in the best points of the movie. Not to be outdone, Joe Alwyn plays his villainous role with frightening believability, putting a face on the kind of irrational hatred that gets passed down through generations, simmering constantly until it boils over. I enjoyed the film, but with a stronger script and more confident, emboldened direction it could have been so much more.

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