Chronicling the Palestinian experience with poise and a lack of easy finger-pointing, Hany Abu-Assad has made stellar experimental quasidocs (Ford Transit) and humanist dramas (Paradise Now). Now he tackles a traditional thriller, and the result feels as if he’s loudly shooting off a clip full of blanks.
Omar (Adam Bakri) is an ordinary West Bank resident, hanging out with his buddies and making goo-goo eyes at his best friend’s sister (Leem Lubany). When this hypothetical “revolutionary” plays a part in some real-world violence, however, he finds himself being used as a pawn by his pals, and as a stool pigeon by Israeli intelligence.
Bakri has charisma to burn, but the complexity of Abu-Assad’s previous movies is traded in for weak genre thrills. One hopes he’s gotten his need to make an episode of 24 out of his system, and that he can get back to doing what he does best.
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