Chronicling the Palestinian experience without finger-pointing, director Hany Abu-Assad has made docs (‘Ford Transit’) and humanist dramas (‘Paradise Now’). Now he tackles a traditional thriller, and the result feels as if he’s shooting off a clip full of blanks. Omar (Adam Bakri) is an ordinary kid on the West Bank, hanging out with his buddies and making eyes at his best friend’s sister. When he gets caught up 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 here for weak thrills. You’ve got to hope his need to make an episode of ‘24’ is out of his system, and that he can now get back to doing what he does best.