Friday, August 2, 2019

The Red Sea Diving Resort (2019)

Movie Name/Year: The Red Sea Diving Resort (2019)
Genre: Drama, History, Thriller
Length: 129 minutes
Rating: MA-TV
Production/Distribution: BRON Studios, EMJAG Productions, Shaken Not Stirred, Creative Wealth Media Finance, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Film & TV House, GEM Entertainment, Netflix
Director: Gideon Raff
Writer: Gideon Raff
Actors: Chris Evans, Haley Bennett, Alona Tal, Michiel Huisman, Ben Kingsley, Michael Kenneth Williams, Alex Hassell, Alessandro Nivola, Greg Kinnear, Chris Chalk, Mark Ivanir, Danny Keogh, Schelaine Bennett, Patrick Maher, Karl Thaning, Chad Phillips, Philip Waley, Vere Tindale

Blurb from IMDb: Israel's Mossad agents attempt to rescue Ethiopian Jewish refugees in Sudan in 1977.

Selina’s Point of View:
Watching The Red Sea Diving Resort was an experience. Straight out of the gate, the movie wastes no time. You see a few words on the screen and then you’re thrust immediately into war. It doesn’t really spare much on the details. It doesn’t rely on gore, but you get a pretty clear picture of the worst of it.

The pacing does relax at times, just enough to offer a false sense of security.

I wasn’t born yet when the events in this film took place, so I don’t really know the ins and outs of it. How much is true and how much the writer/director fiddled with is a blank to me. That said, I never really knew what was going to happen. It’s not like watching fiction. As a result, I was always a little bit on edge with dread when things got rough.

I believe that Chris Evans (Avengers: Endgame, Playing it Cool, Before We Go), Alessandro Nivola (Weightless, Disobedience, You Were Never Really Here), and Michael Kenneth Williams (F is for Family, SuperFly, The Wire) did amazing in their respective parts. 

I saw some critics saying that the black characters all felt flat, but I disagree. I felt for Kabede (played by Williams). His personality and purpose played out in depth. He could have used a little more on-screen time, but this was based on a true story and he wasn’t the character being followed.

Was it the greatest film in the world? No. There were some bad choices in the direction that made parts of the film seem like a trope-y heist flick. There were also some transitions that felt completely out of place – like they were from a Facebook-made friend video. The script also could have used a bit more polishing before being committed to screen, but none of that affected the watchability all that much.

Critics are trashing it, but audiences seem to be giving it more of a chance. As of this moment, there’s nearly a 60% difference between the critic and audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. From what I’ve been reading, it seems like most critics are angry about aspects of the film that really couldn’t be changed without telling someone else’s story.

It’s a toss-up. I, personally, liked it. But it’s not going to be for everyone.

Cat’s Point of View:
The first word that came to mind as credits for The Red Sea Diving Resort began to roll was ‘wow.’

I have to say that this is another of those times that Netflix has outdone themselves with one of their original productions. Not only was the quality of the film on par with most of what’s on big screens right now, but it also packed the additional punch that it was inspired by actual events in the late 70s, early 80s. Ironically, some of the lead actors were only just born when these events took place. I was too little to remember any news reports, myself – but, of course, that doesn’t take away from the gravity of what was accomplished.

Powerful, gripping, and suspenseful would be another few words that best describe this movie for me. I was riveted. The Red Sea Diving Resort reminded me a lot of Argo (2012). Different situations and different real events, of course. I love a good spy movie; and this stuff of reality -- the crazy genius shenanigans of these real agents -- hit all the right notes for me.

This film would definitely get my recommendation. I think history buffs and anyone that’s fond of war movies would also get a lot out of this one.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 26%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 81%
Metascore – 29/100
Metacritic User Score – 5/10
IMDB Score – 6.3/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating4.5/5

P.S. Real life images connected to this story show during the credits.

Movie Trailer:

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