Beirut (2018)

BeirutBrad Anderson’s new film, Beirut has been receiving mixed reviews. Some critics are calling it not accurate. That said, it remains  one of the more intelligent and adult films released so far this year which means it will lose money and die a quick death at the box office. With no Marvel superheroes or bottom-feeder level comedy,  the film has little to attract the majority of today’s audience.

The script had an extended gestation period. Screenwriter Tony Gilroy wrote the story more than two decades ago. During those twenty years or so Hollywood stopped paying too much attention to this sort mid-size film. Why spend money on an iffy financial project when we can pander to the child mentality and make millions.

Jon Hamm portrays Mason Skiles, a diplomat/negotiator whose wife was killed during an attack back in 1972. At the same time Skiles finds out the 13-year boy the couple was going to adopt is the younger brother of the terrorist responsible for the attack that killed his wife. During the attack, the older brother takes the kid.

Now ten years later, Skiles, back in the States, an alcoholic, but still mediating, only now it is between unions and corporations. He is persuaded to come out of retirement to help find and negotiate the release of an old friend, an American operative held by the Palestinians, or maybe it’s the Israelis, or the Lebanese or even the PLO.  No one knows for sure who has him. After all, it’s Beirut. Hamm is perfectly cast, yeah he is that good, and Rosamund Pike has plenty of good moments.

Beirut is an uneven film. Still, it has a lot of smart dialogue, edge of seat suspense and thrills.  Unfortunately, it most likely will be forgotten and off the cinema screens in a week, or two. Beirut  is the kind of film that should be supported by serious filmgoers.

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6 comments on “Beirut (2018)

  1. Thanks for the tip. I admit I don’t pay a lot of attention to recent releases as even when there is something I want to see, I rarely find or make the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. George Orwell says:

    I doubt that the Israelis would have been a suspect for detaining an American operative in 1982 — or during any year for that matter. Interesting how you failed to question whether the Iranians or their satellite terrorist group Hezbollah might have been holding him, since, you know, they more-than-likely blew up the Marine barracks in 1983. Then again, a group calling themselves Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for that terrorist attack. But you didn’t mention them, either. Hmm…I guess I’ll have to watch the movie!

    Liked by 1 person

    • John Greco says:

      I did say some film reviewers have criticized it for being inaccurate, but my point is that it’s the kind of film that we should see more of and less comic book superheroes. If I get you to go see it, them I made my case.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. David H S says:

    I’m with you 100% on this one, John! My wife and I enjoyed this a great deal…and this is the type of uneven but complex and interesting film that would’ve found a “sleeper” audience in the past and had long legs (perhaps through word-of-mouth on “rental”). Gilroy’s script was smart. Anderson’s direction was observant. Hamm’s performance was entertaining. Overall, it felt like a good adaptation of a Graham Greene novel (that he never wrote haha).

    They need to find a way to successfully distribute this type of film to the audience that craves it.

    https://theschleicherspin.com/2018/04/16/the-heart-of-the-matter-in-beirut/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. John Greco says:

    David, years ago they would have opened this film slow, in one or two theaters and let it find its audience through word of mouth. But that was a time when there were single theaters and in cities like NY, and other major metropolitan areas, the film would play for a month or more and then slowly get distributed to other theaters and eventually to more suburban areas. However, those days are gone. Today, they want the money in the first week or two or three. Otherwise, yank it and ship it off to cable.

    Like

  5. George Orwell says:

    I think you missed the point, tharrr, cow-boyyy.

    It’s just kind of interesting how you lefties always find a way to suggest that the Joooos! “might” be up to something sneaky.

    Like

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