Sluggish account of the 1976 plane hijacking fails to capitalise on strong cast and script, and José Padilha at the helm
It was one of the most audacious undertakings of the age: the Israeli mission to Uganda to rescue the passengers of a hijacked Air France plane in July 1976. And Brazilian director José Padilha should have been just the audacious director to tell the story: recently at the helm of the Netflix series Narcos, he made his name with Rio hostage documentary Bus 174 and galvanised the Berlin film festival with his thunderous 2008 Golden Bear winner, the favela police drama Elite Squad. But he’s unlikely to set the Berlinale competition on fire with this ponderous, sometimes ludicrous, number that goes through all the docudrama motions to pretty flat effect.
Apart from Padilha, 7 Days in Entebbe has promising credentials: a strong cast headed by Daniel Brühl and Rosamund Pike as the German radicals who prove out of their depth running the hijack mission with two Palestinians, and a script by Black Watch playwright Gregory Burke, who also scored a notable Berlin hit in 2014 as writer of the super-tense Northern Ireland drama ’71.