Children of Glory (15)
Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Tue Mar 11 2008The water polo final at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics remains one of the most acrimonious encounters in sporting history, since the Hungarian team took on the Soviet Union as the Red Army was crushing the political uprising in Budapest.
Sounds like there’s a movie in there somewhere, but unfortunately it’s this stodgy offering, marking a return to his Magyar roots for ‘Basic Instinct’ scribe Joe Eszterhas. Indeed, there’s more than a touch of Hollywood, as stock characters (the self-interested water polo star swept up in revolutionary fervour, the sexy female partisan he falls for, the creepy, avuncular police interrogator) forge a familiar path through oppression and self-sacrifice.
The Budapest locations are authentic, but everything else feels generic, the cast adequate, and director Krisztina Goda struggles to wring much excitement from the big games. The inherent interest-factor in the material keeps us watching, but you can’t help feeling a half-decent doc would have done more justice to this true story of stirring heroism on the streets and in the Olympic pool.
Author: Trevor Johnston