Dec 092018

Operation Finale was such wasted potential that although at its core the operation itself was interesting, the changes made were baffling and needless. Having that said, the performances from both Oscar Isaac and Ben Kingsley were especially strong.



Operation Finale

Genre(s): Drama, Suspense
Universal | R – 131 min. – $34.98 | December 4, 2018

Date Published: 12/09/2018 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Chris Weitz
Writer(s): Matthew Orton (written by)
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Ben Kingsley, Mélanie Laurent, Lior Raz, Nick Kroll, Michael Aronov, Haley Lu Richardson, Joe Alwyn, Peter Strauss
Features: Commentary, Featurette
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 39.2 GB
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C (untested)

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 3.0/5

Plot Synopsis: Fifteen years after the end of World War II, a team of top-secret Israeli agents, led by Peter Malkin (OSCAR ISAAC), travels to Argentina to track down Adolf Eichmann (BEN KINGSLEY), the Nazi officer who masterminded the transportation logistics that brought millions of innocent Jews to their deaths in concentration camps. Hoping to sneak him out of the country to stand trial, Malkin soon finds himself playing a deadly game of cat and mouse with the notorious war criminal.

Note: This portion contains some plot spoilers so reader’s beware.

Review: Operation Finale is based on a true story but in this case, “inspired by true events” might’ve been more appropriate. No surprise, Hollywood tends to add fiction to true stories but what’s important how and why it’s changed. One movie that came to mind was Argo, winner of a Best Picture Academy Award, which had its finale basically completely fictionalized. This movie too did the same, though the difference here, the suspense and thrills were lacking but worse yet, despite two earnest performances from Oscar Isaac and Ben Kingsley, the emotions were deficient as well

 So what I’m left with is how true the true events were and while the story at its core was correct, many details were changed to add more drama and suspense to an operation that frankly was unnecessary to alter. For instance, there’s a character named Hanna Elian, portrayed by Mélanie Laurent (Now You See Me), whose sole purpose was to give a romantic angle to Oscar Isaac’s Malkin, problem is in real life she was a he named Dr. Yonah Elian. Not sure why this was done because the romance “arc” was at best underdeveloped.

The second change, and this is now spoiler territory, and where Operation Finale compares with Argo: the climax finds our intrepid Mossad agents running from their pursuers to get to the airport and on a plane on to safety. The problem? While certainly treacherous and dangerous, they were in no immediate danger. Now, this would’ve all been well and good in a fictionalized movie but as something from true events and an important one at that, capturing a man like Eichmann, I had a minor issue with it. There were similar problems I had with The Intimidation Game also, in both cases the changes made were baffling as the real life aspects only maybe needed slight tweaks, and otherwise they were made for cinema.

Now, the movie isn’t all bad. As I mentioned before, Oscar Isaac and Ben Kingsley were quite good even with the confines of a limited script, which is why neither received much, if any, award recognition. Even the supporting players pulled their weight pretty well, including Haley Lu Richardson whom I hope finds more roles as she was great in Split.

Operation Finale was written by Matthew Orton marking his debut (and currently has Battle of Britain from Ridley Scott on the slate) and was helmed by Chris Weitz, who has had an interesting career that included About a Boy, The Golden Compass and The Twilight Saga: New Moon, not exactly top tier flicks, though his direction here was decent, the emotional core failed to resonate, which is a shame given the dread, shock and sadness of the Holocaust and more specifically, Malkin’s personal loss that he endured.

Wasted opportunity due to a true story Hollywood-ized for no real good reason as the real event unchanged was more than enough to make for a compelling story.



This release comes with a glossy and title-embossed slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. Features are light with an Audio Commentary with Director Chris Weitz who provides info on the production and story and keeps it flowing at a brisk pace; also included is Inside the Operation (6:24) behind-the-scenes featurette with interviews by the cast and crew.


VIDEO – 4.25/5

The movie is presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer and for the most part, the film looks very good. Detail is relatively sharp throughout while colors, despite the certainly darker nature, had some vibrancy and grays and black levels were stark without appearing crushed. There were no obvious signs of artifacts, aliasing or banding making for a clean looking picture.

AUDIO – 4.0/5

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track might not have a punch to it, but still is more than satisfactory with the clear dialogue levels coming through the center speaker with some minor but still decent impact from the front and rear channels, such as the street noises in Buenos Aires to the quiet creeks inside the safe house where Eichmann was being held.


OVERALL – 3.0/5

Operation Finale was such wasted potential that although at its core the operation itself was interesting, the changes made were baffling and needless. Having that said, the performances from both Oscar Isaac and Ben Kingsley were especially strong in their one-on-one scenes together, so that alone might make for a good reason to at least stream or Redbox the film.




Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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