Updated: Aug 23, 2019
Film: The Red Sea Diving Resort
Starring: Chris Evans, Michael K Williams, Haley Bennett, Chris Chalk, Ben Kingsley, Allesandro Nivola & Greg Kinnear.
Director: Gideon Raf
Review By: Wade Swift
Rating: 2 X's out of 5 X's
From a far, movies that are based on real life events, seem pretty simple. The story of what really happened serves as your foundation, fill in the blanks with the appropriate dialogue and you just walk through it scene by scene. Easy. Right? On the contrary I believe true stories to be the most difficult of tasks in the film industry. Especially those that capture a moment in time where lives were lost. The Red Sea Diving Resort revolves around one of those stories. Directed by Israeli director (Gideon Raff) who became fascinated with the true story of a large jewish community living in Ethiopia who've been oppressed and slaughtered in large numbers. However despite the odds against them, many of them began to make a daring and highly dangerous escape to Israel in hopes of finding religious refuge. The movement, led by Ari Levinsin (Chris Evans) and Kabebe Minro (Michael K Williams) the former, a wreckless and somewhat rogue israeli mossad agent who creates an underground railroad (so to speak) in the form of a rundown hotel in the Sudanese desert. Now, for the Wins and this film has very few. The true to life story in and of itself is worth the price of admission, despite it's lackluster execution which I'll get to in a second. To think that not only was this unconventional approach possible, it would prove to even be successful. Additionally Chris Evans shines bright as ever in his first lead role since departing from the MCU. And his supporting cast provides some pretty decent backup. Including Chris Chalk who does an excellent job in his portrayal of the sinister Colonel Abdel Ahmed, who provides this films main antihero. Which brings me to the Losses. Beginning with the writing, which shows a complete and udder lack of effort to provide any sort of character development. These characters are so poorly written, while it does has brief moments where we see evidence of some potential to it. This films feels rushed from start to finish. I thoroughly believe this film would've been best served as a Netflix original mini series. The amount of tonal shifts alone make a good portion of this film difficult to stay engaged with. One second you're listening to Duran Duran watching our heroes do yoga on a beach and the next, six refugees are being slaughtered and interrogated. This film is far too scattered to ever garner any type of sustainable attention. Every step of the way is predictability & instability. Which make the 2 hr and 10 min run time feel unbearably long. Also I'm not a fan of how the unceremoniously diminishment of Michael K Williams role as the leader of the jewish refugees, I believe his story was worthy of just as much screen time as Chris Evans character was. And while the strong cast does provide a little relief, this film proves to be unsaveable. All in all, if you're ever in the market for a cheesy Argo ripoff, this is it.