“The Debt” is two thirds of a brilliant film, John Madden’s intriguing espionage yarn only falling apart during its bloated and limping conclusion.A brilliantly acted piece of work, the movie manages some hugely suspenseful sequences, the filmmakers orchestrating a skilfully plotted and tautly handled maze of potboiler theatrics. However despite some decent characterization, “The Debt” doesn’t remain engaging for its full duration, Madden fumbling the finale through a preposterously generic and bloated wrap-up. It’s a genuine pity.
The intricate plot cuts efficiently between two different timeframes, the first seeing a young group of Mossad agents attempting to bring justice upon a Nazi war criminal, the second set in 1997 a study of the repercussions the mission has had on them in later life. “The Debt” assumes a twisty narrative style, which along with a few punchy action sequences and a consistent aura of tension keep the opening two acts extremely watchable. Unfortunately the baggy finale lets too much gas out of the bag, the picture flaccidly stumbling toward a climax, rather than making good on the promise indicated by earlier segments.A solid thriller then, but perhaps not the genre gem it could have been.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2010 Toronto International Film Festival For more in the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2010 Chicago International Film Festival For more in the 2010 Chicago International Film Festival series, click here.