6.5/10 “Operation Finale” is one of those mixed films where it doesn’t have many flaws and there is a good amount to admire about it, yet the end result leaves you wanting more and not being all that memorable. This true story is a fascinating one that I wasn’t familiar with and this film does educate its viewer with its interesting plot. The acting is solid across the board, especially from our two leads; Oscar Isaac and Ben Kingsley. The production design and costume design expertly recreate the time period and put us in that era without a second thought. Oscar Isaac’s character struggles with his past and we do get to see some character development with him, which is great. One of the best working composers today, Alexandre Desplat, coming off of his Best Original Score win for “The Shape of Water”, gives us a very mixed score. Overall, the score is well written but the first few tracks use what sound like a child’s xylophone and it not only doesn’t fit with the film, but is distractingly bad. Once those first few tracks end, the score picks up quality from there. For a film that has some very tense and life threatening situations, there are only a few moments of tension. Overall there aren’t a lot of super exciting or thrilling moments that put you on the edge of your seat. I was hoping to get more nervous and uneasy in certain situations but the bland direction of the film basically neuters any potential intensity. When the film ends, you do feel more educated and you see how Ben Kingsley looks eerily similar to the real man he is portraying but the film doesn’t stay with you long after you leave the theater due to it not being very memorable. WWII films are such a huge genre so you really have to set your WWII film apart for it to stand out and despite some emotional, heart wrenching moments and a truly fascinating story, “Operation Finale” can’t quite equal the sum of its parts and ends up more along the lines of a film like “Denial” as opposed to a film like “Inglourious Basterds”.
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